Giulio Ciccone is the strongest climber in The Challenge of Stars
May 25 2020 12:52 am CET

Giulio Ciccone is the strongest climber in The Challenge of Stars
Giulio Ciccone is the strongest climber in The Challenge of Stars
Trek-Segafredo

Trek-Segafredo's Giulio Ciccone has taken the win at the climbers' competition of The Challenge of Stars.

The winner of the King of the Mountains classification in the 2019 Giro d'Italia started the competition with a victory against Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), while Simon Geschke (CCC Team) beat Vincenzo Nibali (Trek-Segafredo), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) won against Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe) and Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic) beat Chris Froome (Ineos).

So from the first round it became evident that the dream final of Nibali vs. Froome was not going to happen. Ciccone also showed to be the strongest against Geschke while De Gendt managed to cross the finish line in the first position against Barguil.

The final of the race -organised by RCS Sport in collaboration with the virtual cycling platform Bkool with partners Tissot, Enel and Vizual- took the two riders for one last time over the 2.9-kilometre ascent of the Stelvio climb and although De Gendt took an early advantage, the Italian rider overtook him in the last metres and took the final victory.

"It was a good competition with many important riders, Even if it is a virtual tournament, it was very difficult to achieve the victory," said Ciccone. "Thomas started very fast, he is a rider capable of producing great power.

"I had calculated how much power I would have been able to push on this climb so I climbed hard but with my pace, hoping he would have slowed down a bit: luckily all went well in the end. I liked The Challenge of Stars very much, it's a unique format and it's a real challenge, I had fun. Now it’s time to enjoy some relaxation."

De Gendt also commented on the last race of the competition. "I was close and I thought I would have won because at some point I had 7 seconds lead over Giulio, but in the final I could not push the same watts I was doing at the beginning," the Belgian explained.

"When I saw Giulio bridging over to me in the second part and eventually overtaking me, I understood my dream was over. I know Giulio a little bit, so I knew I should have started very fast and I tried to do so, pushing hard from the start and trying to stay ahead: I was pushing more than 500 watts but I couldn't keep it until the end. I lost to somebody who is a very good climber. He is an up-and-coming rider who was better than me today."

On the day before, Deceuninck-Quick-Step's Fabio Jakobsen beat Ineos' Filippo Ganna to take the victory of the sprinters' competition of the Challenge of Stars.
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GIULIO CICCONE
TREK - SEGAFREDO





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