On the bedside table of the Giro d’Italia the biography of Barak Obama (“Reading a few pages in the evening, at the end of a long stage, helps me to estrange myself, to disconnect”), a alternative reading ready in the trolley («The perfect spring by Fausto Brizzi»), il message from the former volleyball coach Mauro Berruto – among a thousand others – on the mobile phone («He knows me well: in the last two years, between the crash at the Tour that sent me to the hospital and the pandemic, he helped me to keep the bar straight»).
Wherever you look at it, Alessandro De Marchi da Buja, the Friulian who wears the request for truth for Giulio Regeni on his wrist (“I know that the parents have asked about me: at the end of the Giro there will be a way and time to talk to each other”), it is the most interesting and atypical pink jersey we could find on the Sestola hairpin bends. His first night as a leader, preceded by a toast at dinner with the companions of the Israel Start Up Nation (“I thanked them one by one, explaining to them that I had been thinking about the action on Colle Passerino for a couple of days: I apologized for keeping everything to myself …”), was sleepless: «In the room I tried to put my messages and thoughts in order, with the result that I fell asleep very late and woke up at dawn».
Quiet stage for him, Wednesday, furious scuffle between sprinters ended in the presence of the Adriatic Sea. But on Thursday that the asphalt of the Giro begins to rise again, with the tears of the Forca di Gualdo and Presta and the arrival in Ascoli Piceno, De Marchi is called to theyet another escape of a career spent looking back: «My strategy is not a mystery: to avoid that some rival dangerous for the classification goes away and to fight until the end, that is until the legs will hold up». But in short, do you understand what you are running from, Alessandro? «Eh, good question … Maybe from myself, from my fears. But that’s what I do best on a bicycle. I don’t change anymore ».
Giro d’Italia, the decisive stages from Zoncolan to Cortina, from Canazei to Alpe Motta
His romantic cycling, that interpreting the stages in the old-fashioned way, has the minutes counted under the pressure of professional climbers (Bernal), of all-around phenomena (Evenepoel), of specialists broken at all (Nibali). Yet De Marchi does not give up. He doesn’t want to, he can’t. «The new generation gallops – he explains returning by bus to the hotel – however I believe that in the group there will always be someone willing to experience cycling the old way, as I like it“. Local politics, in that Friuli of which he is the two-wheeled totem, pulled him by the jacket, without obtaining anything: “I envy our grandparents, who had strong and unshakable ideals – he says -, I find it difficult even to understand for who to vote, even if I have always done so, and choose which side to be on. Let alone engage in politics … I look like a strange Friulian because traveling and cycling for foreign teams and heterogeneous realities, American and Polish, opened my head but my being a bear comes out, every now and then, and then in those moments I feel good only in the family ».
Giro d’Italia 2021, the protagonists: Ganna, Yates, Nibali, Evenepoel and Bernal. The favorites
Pink jersey wanted
The enthusiasm unleashed in the environment by the pink jersey of the veteran respected by all, is a symptom of how much Alessandro De Marchi is well-liked in this world of very tiring conquests at the top of the hairpin bends: “It took me more than half an hour to get to the Modena signature sheet, everyone stopped me, everyone wanted to compliment. And in the end, among all the emotions, I think this is the thing that pleased me most in this experience that I dreamed of since I was a child ».
May 12, 2021 (change May 12, 2021 | 23:58)
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