Cicco, here we go! Giulio makes his return at Tour de Romandie

Ciccone is progressing well, allowing Lidl-Trek to plan his upcoming races. First, a return in Switzerland, followed by a double Grand Tour program at Tour de France and the Vuelta a España

Giulio Ciccone can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Two months ago he underwent surgery to remove a perineal cyst, and fortunately, his recovery is proceeding smoothly and without a hitch. The 2023 Tour de France King of the Mountains received the OK from doctors to resume bike training a month after surgery and now, after another four weeks, the feedback from training is reassuring.

From a medical point of view, the wound has healed and Giulio has fully regained his position in the saddle without discomfort. On the performance side, Giulio is successfully coping with the workloads required to build his condition for competition.

In light of this good news, Lidl-Trek has decided to officially confirm Ciccone’s first race in 2024, which will be the Tour de Romandie, scheduled for April 23-28. This will be the very first step in view of the most important events of his summer, Tour de France and Vuelta a España. After the conclusion of the Tour de Romandie, a few other races will be added to Ciccone’s schedule before the two Grand Tours.

“We are pleased with Giulio’s recovery and the possibility of having him competitive again soon; we have missed him,” said Josu Larrazabal, Lidl-Trek’s Head of Performance. “Although pausing training in January was a bitter pill to swallow, we can now look forward to the future with confidence. We are aware that it will still take some time to have him at 100 percent, and that’s why he will race Romandie to regain the racing feeling and without setting goals in terms of results. The important thing for us is that he is well.”

“When we decided to rule out the option of racing the Giro d’Italia, the first thought was to include him on the roster for the Tour de France. The feedback on his improving condition now allows us to confirm this choice. Needless to say, he will be a very important added value for an already strong team. Cicco is among the strongest climbers in the world, and the polka-dot jersey he won last year confirms this. His contribution to our team ambitions, starting with supporting Tao in his GC challenge, will be super important. The unity and teamwork of our strongest riders will be our greatest strength. A similar situation will then apply to the Vuelta a España where we will have Skjelmose and Mads.”

“I feel reborn and now I can’t wait to get back to racing,” Ciccone explains. “The weeks without the bike were very, very difficult. I was trying not to think about the time I was losing, but it wasn’t easy. When I started riding again, it was a great feeling. Of course it was hard, because the intensity of the workouts was gradual but always constant. It was like relighting a fuse, though. I felt the fire inside again.”

“Now I can finally think again about racing and setting new goals. I missed important months, but there is still time and a way to enjoy a successful 2024. Although the desire to race is very strong, I listen with confidence to my team and my coach when they tell me to be patient. The Tour de Romandie will be the comeback, and if difficult days come, I know have to accept them with calmness; I’m still in a growing process.”

“Of course the Tour and Vuelta will be the most important races of my season and I want to prepare for them as best I can. The team knows what I can contribute if I feel good. I am super motivated to do the best for the team needs, both in France and in Spain, and to achieve great results till the end of the season. Anyway, there will be time to focus and to set with the team our common and specific goals for the coming months. Step by step; now, it’s important to live in the present, doing my best in Romandie and taking my condition to a new level.”