The international peloton of professional riders consists of a few hundred cyclists that enjoy climbing over mountains and whizzing through picturesque villages. Many of the riders are well-known to the general public, but there are plenty of names that are still worth watching despite a lack of media attention. BMC domestique Alessandro De Marchi is a case in point.

Alessandro De Marchi is a bit of a late developer. He is 31 years old, and only really came into the spotlight five years ago. After having ridden for a couple of smaller Italian clubs, he got a contract with Cannondale in 2013 and promptly won a stage in the Dauphiné. He crossed the line in front of names such as Froome, Valverde, and Rodriguez, and his business card was duly presented. His major breakthrough took place in the following year, when he won the seventh stage in the Vuelta. In 2015 he made a similar move and won the 14th stage in that year’s Vuelta.

De Marchi on the attack – Photo: Cor Vos

Domestique with a chance

De Marchi has been riding for the BMC squad for the past five years; he regularly puts in a lot of heavy work in the service of the team leaders. Luckily, he is now and again also allowed to go for stage wins on his own during Grand Tours, if the moment is right. Every time he is entered in a stage race, he is in at least three or four breakaways. He doesn’t win a great deal, but when he does it’s always a stylish victory.

During a breakaway, De Marchi often tries to both keep away from the peloton and shake off his fellow escapees. He doesn’t have a strong sprint, so he tends to use small hills and tough ascents to outwit his opponents. If De Marchi is on the attack, it’s always an extra reason to watch the race a little more carefully.