Giulio Ciccone showed brains and brawn to snatch the win at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and slips into the leader’s jersey.
Giulio Ciccone earned his first victory of the 2023 season after just two days of racing. After a hilly day of racing, the peloton hit the final climb of Alto de Pinos with their legs already stinging. When the attacks started to fly, Ciccone kept his cool, waiting for the right moment. He latched onto an attack from Mikel Landa, then sprinted out of the slipstream with 250 meters to go, leaving plenty of room to celebrate. Ciccone had time to savour the moment with his signature celebration: launching his 100% sunglasses to the crowd.
“It was a very hard stage, and we knew since the beginning that today we could have fireworks and be competitive. In days like this tactics are very important and we knew we are a strong enough Team to have our say. We’re only with five riders, but what mattered today was the quality of the team. My teammates did an amazing job putting me in the best position, lots of kudos to them. We rode really well, I saved energy in the peloton as much as possible and then we want all-in in the finale. Our DS Gregy [Rast] kept us calm repeating to stay in the first wheels until that the last corner, at 200 meters. That was the key moment. Everyone knows my attacking instinct, maybe that’s why he repeated this so many times. In the end, I kept a cool mind and followed my good feeling in the legs. Winning is never easy, but this morning I was optimistic of my chance. The desire to win was strong in my mind.
Now I have the leader’s jersey and of course I’ll fight to keep it until the end. Volta Valenciana is definitely not an easy race. We’ll have some hard days, with lots of climbs and lots can happen. As said we’re five in the Team, but we’re strong and we’ll fight to try win the GC.
I was really motivated to not lose the chance to start this season with a win. I had a good preparation, a good winter and I knew my condition was at a good level. I have several goals and targets for this season and today’s win is a boost of confidence for what will come. We’re only at the start of the season, but it’s good to kick off the season in this win. Anyway, now it’s time, for me and for the team to enjoy the win.”