After losing Laurens ten Dam and Jakub Mareczko, who took top ten finishes in the bunch sprints on stages three and 11, during the race, CCC Team’s remaining six riders crossed the line in Verona to add the 2019 Giro d’Italia to their respective cycling palmarès.
CCC Team came to Italy looking to challenge for stage wins and while that goal remained elusive at the end of the three-week race, the team raced aggressively with some strong breakaway performances.
Amaro Antunes fought his back into a podium position on stage 19 after a tough day in the mountains, finishing third and bettering his top ten finish on stage six, a result which saw him sitting in the top ten overall going into the second half of the race.
As well as during the final time trial, Černý, the Czech national road race and time trial champion, showed his promise throughout the Giro d’Italia, in particular on stage 12 when he put in a strong breakaway performance before narrowly missing out on a top ten finish.
Francisco Ventoso, a two time Giro d’Italia stage winner, also spent time out at the front of the race, launching a late attack off the front of the peloton on stage ten before once again trying his luck by going clear off the front of the breakaway on stage 16.
Łukasz Owsian joined Ventoso in the move on stage 16 and also spent time in the breakaway on stage 2, pushing hard to try and hold off the peloton right up until the very last moment.
Víctor de la Parte was CCC Team’s best-placed rider on the General Classification, finishing 21st behind Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) after showing grit and determination throughout the three weeks of racing.
The Spaniard started his Giro d’Italia campaign with a solid performance in the opening time trial and every day after he battled for as long as possible with those riders challenging for the Maglia Rosa even jumping in the breakaway with Antunes on stage 17 to try to take back some time.
Kamil Gradek also completed his first Grand Tour after playing an important support role throughout the race and keeping the team’s two climbers, Antunes and de la Parte, well-positioned at key moments on the big mountain stages.
After crossing the finish line in Verona, here’s what they had to say about the past three weeks of racing.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“I am very happy to finish my first Grand Tour and with my performance over the last three weeks. If I look back at where I was before the start of the race, I can say that my condition has improved. I am happy with my results and I think I can take a lot of confidence out of how I raced, especially stage 19. This Giro have been very hard and there has been a lot of tough days in the mountains. I definitely have gained a lot of experience over the last three weeks and I can take that into my next races and another Grand Tour now.”
“I have really enjoyed my first Grand Tour. Thinking about the distance and the difficulty of the race was almost unbelievable for me at the start but I am super happy to be in Verona and to have finished this Giro d’Italia. The fact that I was able to survive every stage was really the biggest highlight for me because it was really hard at times and it was nice to be in the breakaway on stage 12 and I felt like my performance was really good that day. Overall, I am pleased with my performance at this race.”
Víctor de la Parte:
“I think we have been fighting hard right from the beginning. The first week was really hard with a lot of stress and crashes. I was able to get through this part safely and stick with the GC favorites and also, I think I did a good job in all of the time trials. We tried to be in the breakaway as much as possible and while, we didn’t have the best of luck, it was three positive weeks. We worked well together every day and so, that is something that we can proud of.”
“I feel good at the end of my first Grand Tour. It was a big adventure for me and I was a little bit nervous before the start of the race because it was my first big Tour but now, I am so happy that I finished this race. It was really tough and I suffered a lot of times but I hope the hard work pays off during the second part of the season. I gained a lot of experience and I think it was a good race for me.”
“The last three weeks have been very hard sometimes but we tried to do the best that we could. Amaro was third on stage 19 and I think Víctor finished is a nice place on the GC. Personally, I tried to go in some good breakaway and while, they didn’t go to the finish, I am happy to say that I gave it everything. My legs are of course tired at the end of the race but I still feel in good condition. Looking back overall, I am happy with the work we have all done.”
“For me, this has been one of my best Grand Tours. I have felt really good over the whole three weeks and I think my best day was the one to Mortirolo when I was in the breakaway. It was difficult to get into the breakaway because we started really fast but, I think the whole Giro has been good for me. Looking at the Giro for the team, we did a good job. I think it is fair to say that we maybe expected more because we arrived here with the big goal of winning a stage. I think we could have won a stage but the Giro is so hard for everyone and everyone wants to win a stage. Overall, I am really happy with the work of the guys. I think Víctor did a really good race, Amaro was good. The young riders too Like Josef, Kamil and Łukasz were really good. Also, when Jakub was here, he tried everyday and on the day he had the most chance of winning, he unfortunately crashed.”
Sports Director, Gabriele Missaglia:
“Overall, I am happy with what we have done over the last three weeks. We had some bad luck losing Laurens and then Jakub but I think we did our best and we tried to take opportunities when we could. Víctor has been great and has really been battling with the best in the field as much as possible. Amaro’s performance on stage 19 was a standout performance for us and I think in different circumstances we could have definitely one a stage. While, we didn’t achieve our goal coming into the race, it has still been a good race for us I think and we have shown that has a team we have a lot of promise and I know that in the future the big win will come.”
Stage 21 / ITT: Verona > Verona (17km)
Top 3: 1. Chad Haga (Team Sunweb) 2. Victor Campernaets (Lotto – Soudal) 3. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto – Soudal)
CCC Team Top 3: 6. Josef Černý 29. Víctor de la Parte 31. Kamil Gradek
Top 3 on GC: 1. Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team) 2.Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain – Merida Pro Cycling Team) 3. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo – Visma)
CCC Team Top 3 on GC: 21. Víctor de la Parte 54. Amaro Antunes 73. Łukasz Owsian