It was a stage for the sprinters. So why did Giulio Ciccone attack 70kms from the line?

Giulio Ciccone animates Stage 1 at the Tour de la Province

In his first race of the season, Giulio Ciccone had something to prove. After a bitterly disappointing 2020 season riddled with setbacks, including fighting off Covid-19, Ciccone could not hold back in the first stage of Tour de la Provence that was pinned for the sprinters. On a categorized climb with some 70 kilometers to go, and after a few attacks had already softened the bunch, he accelerated off the front.

“I think not many people expected me to attack in my first race, especially in a stage like this, but today I decided to follow my feeling,” said Ciccone. “I had good legs, good energy and [my attack] was a way to draw the line to my bad season last year. I wanted to prove to myself that I am ready to turn the page.”

Giulio is ready to win again.

Ciccone is an emotional rider who simply loves to race. He faced a frustrating year with the pandemic and health setbacks wreaking havoc on his season, so in his first race back he needed to demonstrate that last year was not him.

“At that point of the race, I was awaiting an attack from (Julian) Alaphilippe, but I saw he was waiting, so I decided to attack. (Gianni) Moscon followed me and then Alaphilippe, so we were a good group, and we all made a strong effort to keep the pace and gap to the peloton.”

For 70 kilometers, the dangerous trio rotated turns, giving the sprinters’ teams behind a little more work than they expected.  The peloton made the catch inside the final two kilometers, and in the end the sprinters had their say. But for Giulio, it didn’t matter.

“At one point, I thought and hoped we might make it to the finish. It was a good effort, and I am happy with my feeling today. Let’s see if there’s a chance in the next days to try something similar,” added Ciccone.

The line drawn, Ciccone is ready for more.