Sunday, October 17, 2021
HomeRaceRace ReviewsLa Vuelta a España 2014 - Stage 7; Alhendin - Alcaudete, 165.4...

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 7; Alhendin – Alcaudete, 165.4 km. Alessandro De Marchi Stays Clear


Alessandro De Marchi

As Dario Cioni once told us; ‘sometimes it’s nice for the big teams to get it wrong and the break to stay away.’ Big Italian Alessandro De Marchi was originally a team pursuit rider and paid his dues for three years in the low budget but big achieving Androni squad before stepping up to the World Tour with Cannondale, last year.

He won a Dauphine stage last season and won the mountains jersey in the same race earlier this season as well as being voted le Tour’s most aggressive rider.

Alessandro De Marchi
De Marchi was the strongest in the break. Photo©Unipublic

For 2015 he’ll wear the less colourful red and black of BMC but will no doubt enjoy a healthier current account with the Swiss mega-team.

The Italian deserved his win and gave Cannondale something to rejoice about – it looks to us like Sagan is only here to train for the Worlds – but big Ryder Hesjedal ‘enjoyed’ more of the bad luck which has dogged Garmin in this race.

Alessandro De Marchi
Hesjedal’s ‘never-say-die’ attitude. Photo©Unipublic

Adding insult to injury was the moto running over his Cervélo as it spun across the tar – his face when describing that part of the incident was a picture.

But you have to admire the big man for his attitude; major time lost yesterday but back on the offensive today – respect.

Alessandro De Marchi
Dupont leads the day’s break. Photo©Unipublic

It may have looked like straight-forward; break goes, bunch chases but doesn’t catch kind of a day – but the feedback from the teams was that it was a hard, hard stage with a lot of riders shelled by the gnarly roads, crashes and the heat.

Alessandro De Marchi
Valverde had a trouble-free day. Photo©Unipublic

Red jersey Alejandro Valverde had this to say;

“These are demanding roads, plus the pace was really fast today.

“Though it was less hot than the two previous stages, the sun still burnt and made the day considerably hard.

“Fortunately, we didn’t have any troubles, but we had to stay focused because, as everyone could see, there were many crashes and it was a dangerous one.”

Alessandro De Marchi
Alejandro Valverde is ‘of single focus’. Photo©Unipublic

Belkin DS Erik Dekker was of a similar opinion;

“The course was tough and the riders made ​​it extra hard. The start was fast and not long after, all hell broke loose. In the first hour, about hundred riders were dropped.

“If that happens in a pro peloton, the pace must be really, really high.”

And the team’s man for the GC, Robert Gesink wasn’t impressed with the ‘race bible;’

“It went up and down all day, and I think that many guys suffered. The profile appeared to be flat, but I’ve learned that you can never trust the Spanish profiles.

“I have miscalculated before and seriously suffered.

“As a GC rider you need to stay focused every day.”

Alessandro De Marchi
Froome hits the tar, again. Photo©Unipublic

On the subject of focus, what are we to make of Chris Froome’s propensity to sample the tarmac?

It’s our feeling that riding up and down mountains out in the Atlantic solo or in a small group may build those all important watts – but it certainly doesn’t help with race craft or bike handling.

Alessandro De Marchi
Trek, with Arrendondo here, gave a token chase of the break. Photo©Unipublic

Saturday’s Stage Eight is the race’s longest at 207 kilometres from Baeza to Albacete, headquarters for the International Brigade during the Civil War in the late 30’s.

It’s flat; however, there is a large ‘but’ – the area is prone to nasty cross winds so it’ll be a nervous day as the lesser teams sit and worry when Alberto and/or Alejandro give the command to put the race in the gutter.


Vaya con Dios.

Alessandro De Marchi
Adam Yates suffered ‘a moment’ today, but no harm done. Photo©Unipublic

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Leo Konig – “Now other riders know they have to look out for us”

Leo Lonig was with NetApp in 2012 and there was a TTT win in the Coppi-Bartali, a third on GC in the Tour of Utah and stage win in the Tour of Britain. But this year has seen him reach the highest level in the sport with stage wins in two World Tour races and sit eighth on GC in one of the World’s greatest races as the climax approaches.

Hugh Carthy – “I knew with more racing and appropriate rest I’d get stronger”

Englishman Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) took his first Grand Tour win on Stage 12 of La Vuelta a España yesterday, attacking just outside the final kilometer of the legendary Alto de l'Angliru, soloing to the finish in a fantastic display of measured, determined riding.

La Vuelta a España, Stage 15: Solares – Lagos de Covadonga Preview

'Why do you want to go further, nothing is there?' the cute park ranger asks us; she's guarding the last section of the fabled climb. We're beside Lago Enol, one of the beautiful Lagos de Covadonga and we need to drive the finale to complete our mission for the day. 'Two minutes?' we plead with her - 'you have ten and then I come looking for you!' she smiles. She's right, low cloud, grass, rock and no lightweight climbers - just a lone Asturian cow...

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 6: Tarazona – Jaca 175.4 km

You have to be impressed by Sky’s riding here at the La Vuelta a España 2012. There was no show boating or ‘riding into the climb’ – they only went to the front when it really counted.

La Vuelta a España 2012 – Stage 21: Cercedilla – Madrid 115.0 km

Degenkolb made it five; it was no surprise - we all knew the break was doomed. But it was good for the estimated 100,000 spectators around the course - and for the TV. It's never a chore to watch the best riders in the world set off from Cercedilla and hammer round the streets of a beautiful city.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 11; Pamplona – San Miguel de Aralar (Navarre), 151 km. Fabio Aru Shines Thru

We had a feeling that Quintana would find it very hard to continue in this Vuelta – whilst the man is hugely talented he’s not at the level he was in the Giro and to make up three minutes on Messrs. Contador, Rodriguez and Valverde was never going to be easy. His morale was in his boots anyway but then fate intervened, down he went on the stage from Pamplona and the Media can stop asking daft questions about imaginary feuds in the Movistar camp.

At Random

Christina Mackenzie – National 12 Hour Champion 2020

Covid having put paid to her 2020, ‘End to End’ bid after her brave but ultimately unsuccessful 2019 attempt, Christina Mackenzie (Stirlingshire Bicycle Club) had to re-focus and made the CTT 12 Hour Championship her goal for the year. ‘Mission accomplished,’ winning by some 12 miles with a provisional 251.64 miles on a tough course in equally tough conditions.

The First Women’s Tour of Scotland – from the roadside

The first Women's Tour of Scotland had some great racing, a wonderful parcours and somewhat mixed fortunes, suffering a cancelled stage and lots of rain and wind. Still, it's Scotland in August and not unexpected. Ed and Martin took in the action from the roadside.

Steve Beech remembers Grant Thomas

Steve Beech sent us in his memories of his friend Grant Thomas and his ‘Golden Era’, the 70’s. Whilst he’s perhaps best remembered for winning the British Championship, his greatest triumphs came in The Netherlands – on road and track.

Dan Fleeman – Sprinting to the Win in the Rutland – Melton International CiCLE Classic!

Alejandro Valverde winning his fourth Doyenne as last Sunday’s hi-lite? Well, we were expecting that – the Movistar Spaniard and Sky’s Polish flyer Kwiatkowski were ‘super favourites’ and delivered two of the three podium places. But what we weren’t expecting was the phone call from VeloVeritas soothe sayer and mentor, Viktor on Sunday evening; ‘your man Dan Fleeman’s just won The Rutland!’ Now, that was a surprise!

The VV View: Local Boy Tom Dumoulin Takes Pink and Questioning ‘The Comic”

Greipel had just blasted the field to win his first Giro stage the day before; surely there'd be a good write up in the Guardian? I guess he got around 100 words? I used to get more of a word allowance to write up races for "The Comic" [Cycling Weekly] back when Scottish racing got a bit of coverage. Meanwhile said Comic and British Cycling continue to tell us that cycling is now mainstream...

Micheal Wilson – Aussie Giro Stage Winner in the 80’s

‘Lockdown’ does have benefits. The big advantage for me is that I have time to catch up with riders who it’s long overdue I should speak to. One such rider is Australia’s Micheal Wilson, a winner of Grand Tour stages and Italian races of quality. Micheal was at home in Tasmania with a glass of his own Pinot Grigio to hand – Micheal is still involved in wine production – when I called and asked him to stroll down memory lane with me...