Giulio Ciccone was the fastest on the climb in the time trial and earns the blue mountain jersey at the Giro d’Italia.
Giulio Ciccone will wear the maglia azzurra into stage two at the Giro d’Italia after he crushed the final climb in the first stage time trial. Category-three mountain points and the blue jersey was awarded to the rider who recorded the fastest time from kilometer 5.9 to the finish line at kilometer 8 and Ciccone, the first rider off for Trek-Segafredo, clocked a time of six minutes and one second for the 2.1-kilometer climb.
It was a calculated race by Ciccone, who rode a conservative first part and then made a switch to his road bike ahead of the climb. Most riders continued with their time trial bike to the top, while Ciccone jumped on his road bike – the lightweight Émonda – and motored to the finish line with the blue jersey in mind. His tactic paid off. Ciccone set the fastest time over the uphill 2100 meters, which he held through the top GC contenders, including stage winner Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma).
The blue jersey was the goal for me and the team today. Before the climb, I switched and did the whole climb on my Émonda. I went as fast as I could – I felt good, and it worked out. I am happy; it’s a good day for the team and for me.
Bauke Mollema put in the top ride for the team, finishing in a very respectable 9th place (+39 seconds). He also opted for a bike switch ahead of the final climb, but for different reasons, his goal a top GC finish.
“It was the right decision for me,” explained Mollema.“We thought about it all week, and I think for me I can produce more power on the road bike compared to the TT bike. I know the change cost me maybe 10 seconds, maybe even 15 since we had to do it 100 meters before the climb. I really didn’t understand that decision by the UCI, [in the past] we could change where we wanted, and now they made us change at a point which was not ideal. But still, I think it was faster for me because I like the position much more on the road bike for a steep climb like this.”
Mollema has his eye on the overall classification, and his first-day performance was a good indication that he has come into the three-week Grand Tour in good shape.
“The power on the flat was really good, and even though the bike change was not perfect – I was not so quickly back into the pedals – I felt good on the climb, good power, and I am quite happy with my TT. It was the right decision for me to change. I am in the top 10, so I think that is a good result for me,” added Mollema.