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Vuelta Stage 11: Alessandro De Marchi wins from break, Simon Yates keeps 1-second lead

Italian takes third career stage win at Italian Grand Tour after attacking from the break

Alessandro De Marchi of BMC Racing has taken his third career stage win at the Vuelta this afternoon, the Italian proving the strongest rider from the break and riding the final 4 kilometres solo to take victory in Luintra. Mitchelton-Scott’s Simon Yates retains his 1-second lead in the overall standings from Alejandro Valverde of Movistar.

At 207.8 kilometres, today’s Stage 11, played out close to the border of Galicia with Portugal, was the longest of this year’s race with a saw toothed profile including four categorised climbs and numerous other uncategorised ascents.

Racing was frantic from the start, with a number of unsuccessful bids by riders to get away, and it was not until the race headed towards the final 100 kilometres that a big group containing De Marchi – who had earlier been part of an unsuccessful attempt to escape the peloton – got away.

There were some big names in the 16-man group, including De Marchi’s team mate Nicolas Roche, Team Sky’s Sergio Henao, Rafal Majka of Bora-Hansgrohe, EF Education First-Drapac’s Pierre Rolland and Bauke Mollema of Trek-Segafredo.

The biggest threat to the overall contenders, however, came in the shape of Groupama-FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot, who was just 2 minutes 23 seconds off the overall lead at the start of the stage this morning.

Whether they were looking to recover their strength after an opening two hours raced at an average speed of 48 kilometres an hour, Mitchelton-Scott, who had Jack Haig in the break, were happy to let it go, leaving Pinot as virtual leader on the road and the Frenchman even attacking  though getting no support from his companions in the group.

Inside the final 30 kilometres, the front group had split in two, with Pinot on the wrong side of it, De Marchi eventually getting away on his own with more than 20 kilometres left but subsequently joined by the Katusha-Alpecin rider Jhonatan Restrepo.

He would shake off the Colombian inside the final 5 kilometres, Restrepo finishing second, some 28 seconds behind the stage winner, with Francesco Pellizotti of Bahrain-Merida third a further half a minute back.

Pinot, for all his efforts, finished 10th, 1 minute 50 seconds behind De Marchi but just a dozen seconds ahead of Yates, with the only change in the top 10 overall being Emmanuel Buchmann of Bora-Hansgrohe dropping from fourth to sixth overall.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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