Ciccone finishes 3rd and Lopez keeps Best Young Rider lead in Stage 20 of the Giro
Trek-Segafredo ended the final road stage of the 2022 Giro d’Italia with the same flair they have shown for the entire three weeks.
Stage 20 offered one last opportunity for victory, plus a white jersey and top 10 in the general classification to defend, and the Team was ready for a final big performance.
Giulio Ciccone once again fought he way into the breakaway, while behind the Team rallied around Juan Pedro Lopez over the last of the Giro’s mountains.
From the 14 men that formed the escape group, only two outplayed another gritty showing by Giulio.
“I really wanted to win the stage today and I think I had the legs to do it, but it was a tactical game in then key moment of the race and unfortunately I was caught by this,” explained Ciccone. “I think we all underestimated Covi when he attacked. He rode very strong and deserved to win today. I have a bit of regret because I think I could have played it differently and could have been in the game for the win.
“After Covi went, we looked at each other too much. Covi took too much of a gap and that was our tactical mistake.”
While tactics may have gotten the better of Cicco in the final stage, overall he was pleased with his Giro.
“I am happy of my performance today, I think I rode strong,” he added. “I was able in this final week to go on the attack – my condition has grown so I could go and try and win stages and that makes me happy. Compared to how I approached the Giro with sickness, in the end I can be satisfied for what I have done.”
Meanwhile, in the peloton behind, Trek-Segafredo was protecting its white jersey, and taking the best young rider to the final climb with as much energy as possible. Still, Juanpe had to dig into his reserves.
“It was a very hard stage today, I am very tired, and of course after 20 days of the Giro,” admitted Juanpe. “Today my teammates helped me keep the pace, the right pace and the right position in the peloton, and to be there when the selection started. In the end it was everyone for himself amongst the big riders, but almost to the very end I had someone by my side. This was amazing to have this feeling of leader and to have this confidence from my teammates.”
“The final climb was so hard, and I had to defend by myself with the remaining energy I had in the legs,” he continued. “Of course, I am very happy! Tomorrow is the last step to take this jersey and make my dream coming true. Now I need to recover and rest to be ready for tomorrow.”
How the young Spaniard has found the energy needed to battle for white and maintain his 9th GC in these final days after 10 grueling days battling for pink is anyone’s guess. There’s no doubt that Juanpe has shown resoluteness that extends his experience.
“This Giro has been amazing for me since day one: the attack on Etna, the pink jersey, now the white – it has been a challenge every day. This is my first Giro, so I really needed and was thankful for the support from my teammates with experience. Even today they showed great confidence in me.
“I really want to know and enjoy the final stage tomorrow in Verona and finish in the arena will be great. Of course, I share this incredible experience with my teammates who have been amazing since the beginning, supporting me on the road and after as well.”
— Trek-Segafredo (@TrekSegafredo) May 28, 2022