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Giulio Ciccone won his first Giro stage in 2016

Giulio Ciccone claimed his first win in over two years with a fine solo victory on stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia as Richard Carapaz retained the race lead.

Italy’s Ciccone, 27, broke clear of the remaining breakaway riders with 19km to go and was in tears after crossing the line in Cogne.

After a successful 2019 season, the Trek-Segafredo rider has endured two years blighted by injuries and Covid.

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“This was my most beautiful victory,” said Ciccone.

“It’s even better than the yellow jersey in the Tour de France or my first stage win at the Giro.”

This was Ciccone’s third Giro stage win and first since 2019, the year he also won the Giro mountains classification and spent two days in the leader’s yellow jersey at the Tour.

After winning the Trofeo Laigueglia in February 2020, his 2020 Giro campaign was hampered by catching Covid the month before the race, before he crashed out of the 2021 edition and also abandoned last year’s Vuelta a Espana because of a crash.

He added: “It’s been a really difficult period. When you try and win and nothing happens, it’s always more difficult and it really tries your mental strength.

“I didn’t feel like myself again but I kept waiting and waiting and I found it today.”

Ineos Grenadiers rider Carapaz, who won the 2019 Giro, came home in a group containing most of the general classification contenders nearly eight minutes down on Ciccone.

France’s Guillaume Martin managed to get away from the peloton with 43km remaining and finished 1:42 ahead of the group to move up to 10th overall.

After a rest day on Monday, the race resumes with a 202km mountain stage from Salo to Aprica on Tuesday.

Stage 15 results

Giulio Ciccone (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) 4hrs 37mins 41secsSantiago Buitrago (Col/Bahrain Victorious) +1mins 31secsAntonio Pedrero (Spa/Movistar) +2mins 19secsHugh Carthy (GB/EF Education-EasyPost) +3mins 9secsMartijn Tusveld (Team DSM) +4mins 36secsLuca Covili (Ita/Bardiani CSF Faizane) +5mins 8secsNatnael Tesfazion (Eri/Drone Hopper-Androni Giocattoli) +5mins 27secsBauke Mollema (Ned/Trek-Segafredo) Same timeGijs Leemreize (Ned/Jumbo-Visma)Guillaume Martin (Fra/Cofidis) +6mins 6secs

General classification

Richard Carapaz (Ecu/Ineos Grenadiers) 63hrs 06mins 57secsJai Hindley (Aus/Bora-Hansgrohe) +7secsJoao Almeida (Por/UAE Team Emirates) +30secsMikel Landa (Spa/Bahrain Victorious) +59secsDomenico Pozzovivo (Ita/Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +1min 1secPello Bilbao (Spa/Bahrain Victorious) +1min 52secsEmanuel Buchmann (Ger/Bora-Hansgrohe) +1min 58secsVincenzo Nibali (Ita/Astana Qazaqstan) +2mins 58secsJuan Pedro Lopez (Spa/Trek-Segafredo) +4mins 4secsGuillaume Martin (Fra/Cofidis) +8mins 2secs

SOURCE: BBC Sport – Cycling RSS   (go to source)
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