Trek-Segafredo has signed talented Italian climber Giulio Ciccone to a two-year deal covering the 2019 and 2020 seasons, the US-registered WorldTour team announced today. The 23-year-old moves to Trek-Segafredo after three years with Italian Pro Continental team Bardiani-CSF.
The news comes after Trek-Segafredo's acquisition of Colombian climber Ivan Sosa came under question when the Androni Giocattoli rider's new agent said the deal was not final.
Ciccone shot into the spotlight in 2016 during his first professional season with Bardiani, soloing to victory during stage 10 of the Giro d'Italia at Sestola. In 2017 he won the queen stage at the Tour of Utah and finished sixth overall in the 2.HC race, and so far this season he's won the Giro dell'Appennino, was second overall in Adriatica Ionica Race and ninth overall at Tour of the Alps.
"Few riders have the abilities to win a stage in the Giro as a neo-pro, so we started following him more closely from that moment on," said Trek-Segafredo General Manager Luca Guercilena. "In the end, I am happy that we could find an agreement with Giulio's current team to give him the opportunity to take the next step in his career."
Trek-Segafredo signed Richie Porte from BMC Racing for next season and has high hopes for the Australian's Grand Tour hopes, especially the Tour de France. Ciccone could be a key lieutenant for Porte and Bauke Mollema in the high mountains.
"He is a talented climber who I believe will be an excellent helper for our main GC contenders, Porte and Mollema," Guercilena said. "We have confidence in his support in the mountains and that he still has a large margin for improvement. He is still young, only 23, and we are certain he will be a solid option for the future."
Ciccone said the move to cycling's top division was further fulfilment of his cycling dream.
"I have been riding and racing my bike since I was eight years old," Ciccone said. "When I turned pro in 2016, I was over the moon. It was everything I had been dreaming of since my first bike race. I have learned and improved a lot over the past years with Bardiani CSF, and I am very grateful for that.
"Now I feel I am ready to step up to the WorldTour and I am very excited about that," Ciccone said. "I am really looking forward to racing with Trek-Segafredo next season, and I am thankful for the confidence they have put in me. I will give it my all, I promise."