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Gallery: Ciccone powers to emotional breakaway win to close out week two of the Giro d’Italia

Italian’s redemptive win story of the day as GC men take an early rest before the final week begins on Tuesday

Will Strickson
23 May 2022

‘Squib’, according to Google, is the word for ‘a small firework that burns with a hissing sound before exploding’, so a damp one is essentially an unexploded firework, hence its association with an anticlimax like we’ve seen plenty of at the 2022 Giro d’Italia.

So Stage 15 was again inactive for the GC battle – bar one beautiful man who we’ll come to – taking an extra rest day before Monday’s official day off to get the legs ready for a huge final week.

Granted it was largely due to a crazy Stage 14 into Torino on Saturday but we didn’t have a gallery for that, so we’ll pretend it never happened until our Rest Day Recap.

The day’s break took a while to form, with the parcours mostly flat until the first of three big climbs came 90km in and a crash involving maglia rosa wearer Richard Carapaz holding things up, but it was packed with talent among 27 riders once the elastic snapped and the peloton settled in.

Thymen Arensman, Koen Bouwman, Santiago Buitrago, Hugh Carthy, Giulio Ciccone, Lawson Craddock, Davide Formolo, Merhawi Kudus, Natnael Tesfazion, Mathieu van der Poel and Ivan Sosa were just a few of the names out front.

A dutch trio of Bouwman initially went clear on the first climb and was joined by Van der Poel and Martijn Tusveld on the descent.

Ciccone, who had put a lot into making the break, attacked on the second – and hardest – climb of the day, dragging Buitrago and Antonio Pedrero with him, catching and promptly ditching the three up the road.

Carthy fought back on, looking to get something from the race having fallen off in the GC, as did Rui Costa and Tusveld.

The Brit, who struggled in 2021, tried to push on at the bottom of the final climb but Ciccone attacked again and left everyone behind, flying to the finish and flinging his glasses into the crowd, as is his tradition.

He was emotional post-race, having struggled in 2021 after a promising start to that Giro and never offering anything in the overall of this one, but his third Giro d’Italia stage win was mightily impressive.

Behind, our hero. Le philosophe. Guillaume Martin.

The Cofidis man lost his top ten spot on Saturday, shipping a bag of time that we all knew he’d try to get back via breakaways as is his way. But he didn’t wait this time out, although he wasn't in the breakaway he attacked the main bunch and got himself almost two minutes back, hauling his way back into tenth overall.

Still eight minutes down, it’s not the last we've seen of our Guillaume, France’s lone soldier in GC, and we’ll salut him all the way.

But who cares for words? Here are the highlights of Stage 15 from the lens of Chris Auld:

Who are they cheering for?

Who is she gawping at?

It’s Vincenzo, of course. Lo squalo’s farewell tour is the hottest ticket in town.

It is great to see Mathieu van der Poel animating the Giro so much, but is he spending too much time pulling along his breakaway companions? Not for me to say.

Insert joke about wine/whining.


Phase one: remove glasses.

Phase two: yeet glasses.

Phase three: say cheese.

Phase four: execute standard celebration.

Phase five: retrieve glasses.

Bahrain Secondplace.

Notre héros.

Great to see Fabio Felline and Lennard Kämna honouring the race and putting on a show.

Teammates supporting teammates. Smiles for Juanpe López despite losing the maglia rosa on Saturday.

Lessons have been learned. Giulio is no stranger to popping bottles.

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