It was the third breakaway for De Marchi in this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné after also attacking on stage two and five and this time, the breakaway was allowed to stay away.
De Marchi pulled away after 12 kilometers of racing, going clear with Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick Step) and Gregor Mühlberger (BORA – hansgrohe) and the trio quickly established a very sizeable lead.
With all three riders having lost time in the General Classification earlier in the race, and therefore not posing a threat to the GC riders, they were able to gain 11 minutes on the bunch and entered the second, more demanding part of the stage very confident in their chance to fight for the stage win.
De Marchi was battling against Alaphilippe for points on the categorized climbs and was pulling hard to extend the advantage over the peloton. The collective effort from all three attackers saw the breakaway increase the gap to nearly 14 minutes, all but ensuring that the winner would come from the break.
On the last climb, the category two Col de Beaune, a game of cat and mouse ensued with the breakaway riders attacking each other repeatedly and De Marchi, who was doing a good job of pacing himself, was able to come back to the group and launch his own attacks.
Eventually, he lost contact just before the top and despite a fierce chase on the descent, he had to settle for third place, 22 seconds behind stage winner, Alaphilippe.
Quotes from the Finish Line:
Alessandro De Marchi
“It was not easy to get into the breakaway and the key moment, when the group was formed, was on the downhill from the first small bump, where we made the selection. That moment marked the start of a really long day for us. It was quite funny because the beginning of the stage looked similar to yesterday’s finale, with three guys breaking away and the peloton chasing.”
“It was a really hard and long race because the other riders were strong and the parcours was demanding. In the end, it was all about the legs and I did what I could against these two guys. Maybe I needed a steeper climb because today it was quite fast up the hill and the duo was very quick when they attacked. I was able to come back two or three times and I tried to launch my own attacks but with 500 meters to the top I fell behind. I think I’m going in the right direction, heading into July and I was still third which is a good confidence boost.”
“My two previews breakaways didn’t have an impact on my legs today. Yesterday the course was not too demanding and we were pushing strong only in the last 50 kilometers. Today I was feeling okay and it was not about yesterday’s effort but the current form.”
Sports Director, Jackson Stewart
“The idea was to get in the break since the stage was long, with a difficult final and we thought that with so many good climbers in the line-up we can’t wait for the last climb and we need to be up the road. We were also hoping that the GC teams would be willing to let a group go and not spend so much energy on bringing the breakaway back on such a long day.”
“The riders who went clear with De Marchi were really strong and nobody could get across. Mitchelton-Scott was willing to let the gap open and in the end everyone gave what they had. The trio was pretty equally matched and De Marchi gave a few attacks to see if he was on a great day but, he lost contact right towards the top of the climb.”
“When you’re that close to winning you’re always disappointed but, we can be happy with how everything played out today. Earlier in the race we were seventh, today we got the top three and we were close to achieving our goal of winning a stage. De Marchi’s condition is very good as he comes towards July and the other guys are also doing well and growing from this race. Obviously, we want to win, but we can also be happy with the podium.”
Critérium du Dauphiné
Stage 6: Saint-Vulbas>Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne (229km)
Top 3: Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 2. Gregor Mühlberger (BORA – hansgrohe) 3. Alessandro De Marchi (CCC Team)
CCC Team Top 3: 3. Alessandro De Marchi 36. Joey Rosskopf 43. Serge Pauwels