Racing with the Italian National team, the Trek-Segafredo climber claims victory in his first race of the season.
Giulio Ciccone opened his 2020 season with a victory in the Italian semi-classic Trofeo Laigueglia, attacking with 10 kilometers remaining of the 203-kilometer race and soloing to the win.
It was an emotional win for Giulio, who afterward quickly dedicated the victory to his mother Silvana, who is battling illness.
“On the final straight, when I saw that they couldn’t get me back from behind, my only thought was to send a kiss to my mother and enjoy the success with her with my arms raised,” said Ciccone.
Biniam Girmay (Nippo Delko One Provence) and Diego Rosa (Arkéa-Samsic) rounded out the podium, finishing 32 seconds behind Ciccone, who was racing the opening race of the Italian season with the National team.
Leaving the mark at the first race of the year is a great feeling. Honestly, I knew I was good at Teide (training camp), we worked very well there, and in the last few days, I've been fine-tuning the condition to be ready for this race. But having a good feeling and winning, of course, is not mathematical.
How the win unfolded
After the day’s escape group was caught at the start of four hilly finishing circuits, Diego Rosa made the first big selection a lap later, attacking on the Colla Micheri climb with 30 kilometers remaining. Only Ciccone, Girmay, and Marco Tizza (Amore & Vita-Prodir) could follow.
The four riders worked well together, gradually growing their lead as the hilly circuit reduced the pursuing group behind. At the start of the final lap, it was clear the winner would come from the four leaders.
“I knew I could do it on the final circuit with Colla Micheri’s KOM,” explained Ciccone. “With Rosa, Tizza, and Girmay, we collaborated and gained a minimum advantage right from the start. Lap after lap the gap increased. When we started the climb for the last time, I knew it could be the right time to go solo.”
The KOO glasses throw? Well, it was a gesture of instinct at the Giro and it brought good luck. I hope I can launch a lot from here to the end of the season.
Ciccone made his move the final time up the two-kilometer Micheri climb. Rosa and Girmay chased hard, but the Trek-Segafredo climber had 10 seconds going into the last uphill, Capo Mele, and continued to build his lead to the finish.
“Rosa was pulling hard to make the selection, and I waited for his drop in speed to make my attack,” continued Ciccone. “From there to the finish line, there was still one more KOM and a tricky false flat stretch – that was the point that worried me the most.”
Coming into the finish straight, Ciccone gave a final look back. With no one in sight, he had enough time to savor the win – and throw his Koo glasses to the fans in what is seemingly turning into his trademark victory salute.
“The KOO glasses throw? Well, it was a gesture of instinct at the Giro and it brought good luck. I hope I can launch a lot from here to the end of the season,” smiled Ciccone.