Trek-Segafredo completes one of its best Grand Tours in the team’s history.
Trek-Segafredo came into the 102nd edition of the Giro d’Italia wanting to make a significant presence, and when Bauke Mollema, the last rider of the team in the stage 21 time trial, crossed the final finish line of the three-week Grand Tour, the team had checked all their boxes – and then some.
The goals were to finish top five in the general classification and win a stage, and Bauke Mollema and Giulio Ciccone crossed those off the list with Mollema cementing 5th place in the final days and Ciccone taking an emotional victory in stage 16.
However, grabbing the Maglia Azzurra in the first stage and then holding it through all 21 stages was simply not anticipated. Ciccone had his eye on claiming the mountains jersey in the first day time trial, and achieved that, but had no big agenda for holding it past stage 7 when the Giro rode through his home town. But when you’re hot, you might as well be red-hot, and Ciccone was. He raced aggressively for three weeks, joining breakaways in pursuit of victory, supporting Mollema, and grabbing mountain points along the way. When the win finally came – in a wet and brutally cold finish to stage 16 – it was memorable. Later, when the Maglia Azzurra was also officially secured, after 21 stages of defending the lead in the mountains classification and 21 trips onto the podium, the realization of making a presence in this year’s Giro surpassed all expectations.
It was a full team effort. From Matteo Moschetti – competitive in the sprints in the first half until a high-speed crash in the last meters of stage 10 forced him to abandon – to the unsung heroes (Markel Irizar, Will Clarke, Michael Gogl) and the climbers (Giulio Ciccone, Gianluca Brambilla, Nicola Conci, Bauke Mollema) that battled in the second half of the Giro, the entire team played an integral part of one of the most successful Grand Tours for Trek-Segafredo.
Markel Irizar (his final Grand Tour): “I was not so sure I wanted to come to the Giro this year because I wanted my last Grand Tour to be a good memory, but I need to say that 2019 was even better than 2018. I have super, super good memories of this Giro, the teammates, staff…it was something really, really special that was better than the results. I want to thank everybody behind this – from our biggest partners to the technical sponsors, management, and staff – because it’s thanks to them that we can have this success and this opportunity to enjoy our dreams.”
Bauke Mollema: “It was only the second time that I was in the top 5 in a Grand Tour, since the Vuelta in 2011, so I am really happy. It was a great Giro for the team, winning a stage, winning the mountains jersey, and then top 5 in the GC, so yeah, it couldn’t be better.
“I am happy with my level. We had a great atmosphere in the team from day one until the end, and that really helped. I think when the atmosphere is good in the team, you see that everyone is even more motivated to work together and that leads to great results.”
Giulio Ciccone: “Today was very emotional. When I was inside the arena, it was incredible, it was big emotions for me. I am very happy with this Giro, it was very, very important for me to finally make this big jump in my progress. I am also very happy for the team, we were a strong group, and I think we made a super Giro. Bauke finished top 5, which was the top goal for the team. I want to thank everyone: staff, managers, teammates, everybody… Thanks!”
Kim Andersen, director: “Giro is done. Three hard weeks and a lot of nice racing. I think as a team we did very well. We achieved all our goals with a stage win, top 5, and on top of that, we had the mountains jersey for the whole Giro. That was quite nice. It was a great pleasure to work all three weeks with the team – riders and staff. I think I can count one day where we didn’t do what we had planned, and that was stage 19, which was a big opportunity to take a second win. All the other stages we were always present – I can say I am very happy with the three weeks!
“The performance of Bauke was more or less as I expected. I put a goal of top 5 because I really believed he could do it. In one moment of the race it even looked it could have been a bit better, but I think it’s a good result. Bauke was consistent, he did a very, very nice chrono in the first week, and made good decisions with the team during the race.
“The rider who impressed me the most was for sure Ciccone. It’s the first year he is with us, he’s a good rider, nice rider, and always positive and goes 100% for a goal. It has been a very nice surprise to work with Giulio in this Giro, and I am certain we will have a lot of fun with him in the future.”
Adriano Baffi, director: “At the end of the Giro we can say we reached more than our objectives – we were top 5, which we knew was possible, but top 10 was realistic, and won one stage. We were present in every stage and had the blue jersey that topped our performance. All the team was always motivated, the leaders performed, and the staff made a great effort – which is never easy in a Grand Tour – personally, it has been a long time since I have seen a team like this. In the end, I can say we deserved everything that we did.”
Luca Guercilena, general manager: “I am very happy with the team performance. The whole team did a great job from the first week helping Matteo (Moschetti) in the sprints, and later in the mountains with Giulio, Bauke, Gianluca, and Nicola, who all did a great second part of the Giro. We were competitive – every stage we were in the fight, and that was critical.
“In the end, we saw a great performance from Giulio winning a stage, the blue jersey, and other top ten finishes. Bauke was able to hold onto his 5th position, which is a good result, and proof that patience and hard work pays off.
“In the spring, we put in the work and effort but did not get the results we had hoped for, and finally here we saw the results after all the work that was done during the previous months. We did not give up, we kept working hard, and for this, I am proud of all the team.”