Giulio Ciccone wins Stage 2 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and takes GC lead too

Giulio Ciccone Valenciana 2023 Stage 2

In an uphill finish on today’s stage, Giulio Ciccone took the victory in a sprint against Tao Geoghegan Hart and Pello Bilbao. On a tough day that saw Stage 1 winner Biniam Girmay dropped before the end, it turned into one for the GC riders and a select group of puncheurs to contest the victory. By the time the TV coverage started, it was clear there had been a number of crashes early on in the stage. Girmay was one of those riders seen with fresh bandages.

Ineos Grenadiers set the early pace on the final climb, but it was Brandon McNulty who attacked first as Jonathan Castroviejo pulled off the front of the bunch after doing his turn. Thomas Gloag, the young Brit on Jumbo-Visma, managed to go with McNulty but the work of Geoghegan Hart was enough to bring them back. Mikel Landa countered but ended up swamped by the faster finishers who’d delayed slightly. His teammate Pello Bilbao was part of the group that came around the Basque rider.

“This was a really hard stage. We knew before the start that we were strong even with only five riders – not quantity but quality. My director was always saying on the radio stay in the wheels, stay in the wheels, so I waited until the last corner. It was my first chance to win and I’m happy to start my season like this.”

Giulio Ciccone

The day’s break saw Javier Romo, Alessandro de Marchi and Samuele Zoccarto go clear for most of the stage. Zoccarto of Green Project-Bardiani did enough to be able to wear the KoM jersey tomorrow. They were reeled in and only with 5km to go did the GC men have to come to the front of the peloton to begin their work to the line.

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Stage 2 results

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