Ciccone set to move into Grand Tour leadership role in 2021

CAMIGLIATELLO SILANO ITALY OCTOBER 07 Giulio Ciccone of Italy and Team Trek Segafredo Gianluca Brambilla of Italy and Team Trek Segafredo during the 103rd Giro dItalia 2020 Stage 5 a 225km stage from Mileto to Camigliatello Silano 1275m girodiitalia Giro on October 07 2020 in Camigliatello Silano Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Giulio Ciccone at the 2020 Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Trek-Segafredo manager Luca Guercilena has said that climber Giulio Ciccone will get the chance to be a Grand Tour leader for the first time in 2021.

The Italian has raced five editions of the Giro d'Italia, winning stages at Sestola and Ponte di Legno along the way, as well as taking home the blue mountains jersey in 2019. That season, he also made his Tour de France debut, finishing second on the summit finish at La Planche des Belles Filles and wearing the yellow jersey for two days.

Speaking to Rai Radiocorsa, Guercilena said that Ciccone, who finished 16th at the 2019 Giro, would take his next step in 2021 and test himself as a Grand Tour leader.

"Giulio will certainly have a Grand Tour as his goal to test himself and understand what he can do over three weeks, racing as the sole leader," he said. "It's something that we'll discuss together, to understand which is the right Grand Tour for him to be a leader.

"We haven't discussed racing programmes in detail because we're doing physiological and biological tests for next season. We have postponed the final discussions on those programmes until January."

Tour de France podium finisher Richie Porte has left Trek-Segafredo to join Ineos Grenadiers for next season, leaving the trio of Ciccone, Bauke Mollema and four-time Grand Tour winner Vincenzo Nibali as team leaders.

The latter part of Ciccone's 2020 season was compromised after he caught COVID-19 in September and was then forced to leave the Giro after two weeks due to bronchitis. In November he underwent surgery to fix a septum deviation and improve his breathing.

His three-year deal with the team expires at the end of 2021, and his performances – which in 2020 included a Trofeo Laigueglia win and a fifth place at Il Lombardia – have attracted the attention of several other WorldTour squads.

Guercilena said that the team are working to secure a contract extension with the 25-year-old.

"We have a good relationship with Giulio, and we've been together for a long time. We believed in him when nobody did, so the idea is to carry on with this working relationship."

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