Thursday, July 11, 2013

Valle d'Aosta Stage 1: Garby shocks the favorites

Garby was in tears after his stage win (Photo: Race Website)

Before today, I could not have told you who Marc Christian Garby was. Today, I still cannot say much about the 22-year old Dane who rides for Team General Store, the Italian amateur squad that is based out of Verona. Garby put in one of the more stunning rides of this year but riding in the breakaway all day and taking a solo victory in the uphill finish at La Magdeleine.

For the last two years, I cannot find any record of Garby even racing, with his last results coming from 2011 in the Danish National RR and the Scandinavian Race Uppsala. From his Facebook, it says that he was working in a theater up until this year, when he moved to Italy and eventually started to race with the Team General Store in April at the GP Palio del Recioto, where he finished 15th. I won't pretend to know his story because I am just as curious as many others as to how this all came about and what his journey has been like.

On the nearly all uphill journey from Pont-Saint-Martin to La Magdeleine, it was within the first 8 kilometers of the 155 kilometer stage that saw Garby attack with others including Lotto's Louis Vervaeke. The group scaled the first two smaller hills without much difficulty and then continued on the false flat run in up to the foot of the Col St. Pantaléon, the main feature for the day's racing. While the gap had dropped between the peloton and the breakaway, the break was still given a healthy lead and Garby was putting in accelerations, dropping riders from the break and it was only Vervaeke and Giacomo Berlato (Zalf Euromobil) that could follow. It wasn't long after that Garby attacked the duo on the Pantaléon and went solo over the top. After a short descent, it was Garby who had a 30 second advantage on Vervaeke at the foot of the climb with the group nearly two minutes back.

Garby, who has a very lithe build and is suited for climbs, put another 20 seconds into Vervaeke, an impressive climber in his own right, and finished up with a gap of 54 seconds on the Belgian. Behind, it was perennial podium placer Davide Villella taking a small sprint from Russian Alexander Foliforov with Davide Formolo, Clement Chevrier, Mikel Iturria and Manuel Senni all finishing close behind. Behind the leading chasing pack, it was utter shambles as the time gaps were huge and it was minutes rather than seconds between many riders.

  1. Marc Christian Garby
  2. Louis Vervaeke +54"
  3. Davide Villella +2'13"
  4. Alexander Foliforov s.t.
  5. Davide Formolo +2'16"
  6. Clement Chevrier s.t.
  7. Mikel Iturria +2'18"
  8. Manuel Senni +2'21"
  9. Pierre Paolo Penasa +2'53"
  10. Daniele Dall'Oste +3'09"

Garby was in tears at the end and thanked his team and everyone for giving him the chance this year and promises to put everything out there. I would like to see an interview with him so that I can understand his near two-year layoff from the sport, the racing side at least. He has raced twice this year with the Danish National U23 team in stage races such as the U23 Peace Race and the Thüringen Rundfahrt but according to a post-race interview, he was still not on 100% form and it wasn't until Wednesday morning that he truly felt like he could win the stage. He hopes to defend the jersey for as long as he can.

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