Giulio Ciccone today decided to collect on the outstanding credit he had with cycling. Over the past year, the Abruzzese rider has had his wings abruptly clipped by Lady Luck, just when he was trying to fly off into a new dimension as a rider. He took the covid twice, had to fight several physical setbacks and each time start to build up his athletic condition again.
In 2021 he abandoned the Giro due to a crash, caused by others, and then also dropped out of the Vuelta due to another crash, again caused by others. In both cases, among other things, he was fighting for a top 10 finish. And in these cases, it is known, one does not tend to analyse the situation, to understand how and why, but only looks at the classification. For mainstream opinion, Ciccone simply retired from two Grand Tours in the same year; enough to consider him a big bluff. In the space of a few months, then, Ciccone went from being considered one of the top athletes in the Italian cycling movement, the rider to rely on for the Grand Tours, for the post-Nibali era, to an overrated rider.
As is often the case at these junctures, there are no half-measures. From being very strong, Giulio became very bad. Today, however, the Trek-Segafredo rider got back on that path which, unfortunately, he had had to give up just a week ago, when he was still evidently struggling with the after-effects of bronchitis, high fever and antibiotics that he had had to take until a few days before the start of the Giro d’Italia.