Tour de France yellow jersey Giulio Ciccone has been handed a contract extension by his Trek-Segafredo team. The announcement was made less than 24 hours after the Italian finished second on stage 6 at the Tour de France and moved into the yellow jersey.
Ciccone only moved to Trek-Segafredo at the start of the season after three years at Bardiani-CSF. He raced the Giro d'Italia in May and won the mountains jersey and a mountain stage - the second of his short career – and was a surprise inclusion in the Trek-Segafredo line-up for the Tour.
On stage 6 he showed his talents with a day-long break and second place behind Dylan Teuns (Bahrain Merida). Despite a late chase from Julian Alaphilippe, the Frenchman was unable to hold onto his overnight lead and Ciccone moved into yellow by a slender six seconds.
Ciccone came to Trek on a two-year deal but has now been handed an additional one year that will carry him through until the end of the 2021 season.
"I am super excited to renew my contract with Trek-Segafredo. I am really enjoying myself in this team, that feels as one big family to me," the 24-year-old said in a press release issued by his team.
"After my Giro, there were quite some teams interested but for me it was pretty clear I wanted to stay with Trek-Segafredo, where I feel so at home. The team is giving me lots of opportunities to grow and learn and that's truly amazing. I mean, look at me, I came to the Tour de France to gain some experience and to support Richie Porte in the climbing stages, and here I am, wearing the yellow.
"I will try to enjoy this jersey as much as I can, but my focus stays with Richie, he's our leader and I will do my very best to help and protect him as much as possible."
Although Trek are on the cusp of announcing Vincenzo Nibali as their marquee signing for next year, they see Ciccone as the future and hope that he can learn from Nibali's vast experience in Grand Tours.
"We signed Giulio because we believe in his talent. Winning a stage at the Giro d'Italia as a neo-pro (2016) put him on our radar and we followed him closely ever since," said Trek-Segafredo's general manager, Luca Guercilena.
"This season Giulio has already made a big step, but we are convinced he still has a great margin of improvement and I am curious to see where his limits are. He's a real added value to our team and I am honestly very happy that he will stay with us."