VUELTA’18 Stage 11: De Marchi Marches On!
Stage Report: After the ‘quiet’ stage 10, the Vuelta a España reignited the fire for stage 11 for BMC’s Alessandro De Marchi to fight his way through a downpour in the finalé to hold off his break companions for the victory. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) finished with the GC men to hold the overall lead as the mountains loom large on the horizon.
The longest stage of this year’s Vuelta was five hours of full gas, high speed action with Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) coming out on top after a tough day. De Marchi was part of the break of the day that escaped after more than 100 kilometers of intense racing. The ‘Rosso di Buja’ (De Marchi’s nickname) eventually dropped his companion Jhonatan Restrepo (Katusha-Alpecin) on the final climb with 4 kilometers to go for the solo win, his third Vuelta stage victory. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) at one point threatened the red jersey, but Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) held the overall lead.
Stage 11 from Mombuey to Ribeira Sacra. Luintra:
Zamora will continue to be the protagonist during stage 11. The peloton will start riding from the small Castilian locality of Mombuey, famous for its Church of Our Lady of the Assumption. This temple, built during the 13th century, is crowned by a solitary tower, whose construction is attributed to Templars, which will watch over the riders as they pass on the way to Galician territory. If there is a place to see, to feel the passing of time, to listen to the silence, to smell the purest nature and to savour life, that place is the Ribeira Sacra. Between the Sil and Miño river canyons is Luintra, one of the most beautiful landscape discoveries in La Vuelta’s recent history. Following Simon Yates’s victory in 2016, the Orense locality will, once again, be a privileged and decisive setting for one of this edition’s stages.
The speed was high from the start
It took more than two hours of racing at nearly 50kph for the break to finally get any time on the peloton. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) and Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) had tried to get in an early move in the first 100 kilometers of the stage, but they were not given any chance. The high speed saw off Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Georg Preidler (Groupama-FDJ), who all abandoned.
Vincenzo Nibali tried for an early break
The break of 19 riders managed to get away after 105 kilometers. Best placed was Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) in 16th place at 2:33. The Frenchman was joined by Franco Pellizotti (Bahrain-Merida), Nans Peters (AG2R-La Mondiale), Omar Fraile (Astana), Alessandro De Marchi, Nicolas Roche and Dylan Teuns (BMC), Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe), Léo Vincent (Groupama-FDJ), Tiesj Benoot (Lotto Soudal), Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott), Winner Anacona (Movistar), Ryan Gibbons (Dimension Data), Pierre Rolland (EF Education First-Drapac), Jhonatan Restrepo (Katusha-Alpecin), Sergio Henao (Sky), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Sergio Pardilla (Caja Rural-Seguros-RGA) and Mikel Bizkarra (Euskadi-Murias).
Pinot had the virtual lead for a while
They soon had a lead of 4:25 before Movistar started the chase with 90km to go. Bauke Mollema went on a solo move 48km out from the finish, but was caught 13 kilometers later. De Marchi and Jhonatan Restrepo attacked on the final climb and opened up a 30 second gap on the other chasers by the summit. The peloton was at 3 minutes.
Alessandro De Marchi went solo on the final climb
The storm hit the peloton
De Marchi dropped Restrepo on the final uphill section with 3 kilometers remaining as a heavy shower of rain battered the pair off the front. EF Education First-Drapac upped the speed in the GC chase group, getting within 12 seconds of the Pinot group. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) finished with the other top men to hold his 1 second lead on Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), although Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) lost 18 seconds and his place in the GC top 5.
De Marchi: “I didn’t have my best legs, but it was just in the head”
Stage winner, Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) spoke of his win on TV: “If I waited for the sprint for sure I’d have finished second. The only option I had was to try everything on the last climb. Honestly, I didn’t have my best legs, but it was just in the head. At one moment today I just said that I just had to keep trying because it was a real battle. Every move was looking like the good one and then it would come back. I just said ‘ok I just do the maximum I can'”.
Simon Yates kept an eye on all his rivals
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Vuelta a España Stage 11 Result:
1. Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC in 4:52:38
2. Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-Alpecin at 0:28
3. Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida at 0:59
4. Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 1:24
5. Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC at 1:45
6. Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 1:46
7. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
8. Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC at 1:48
9. Sergio Henao (Col) Sky at 1:50
10. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
11. Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias at 1:52
12. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 2:02
13. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
14. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
15. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb
16. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott
17. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana
18. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
19. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension Data
20. George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo
21. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
22. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar
23. Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale
24. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors
25. Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar.
Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 11:
1. Simon Yates (GB) Mitchelton-Scott in 45:57:40
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar at 0:01
3. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar at 0:14
4. Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida at 0:17
5. Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale at 0:24
6. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
7. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana at 0:27
8. Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale at 0:32
9. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:43
10. George Bennett (NZ) LottoNL-Jumbo at 0:47
11. Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors at 1:15
12. David De La Cruz (Spa) Sky at 1:33
13. Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates at 1:49
14. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Sunweb at 1:50
15. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Sky at 2:10
16. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 2:20
17. Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 3:24
18. Benjamin King (USA) Dimension Data at 3:42
19. Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 4:29
20. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension Data at 5:27
21. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 5:28
22. Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis at 5:45
23. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida at 6:39
24. Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors at 8:07
25. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo at 11:28.