CCC Team came to Italy looking to challenge for stage wins and that goal was ultimately achieved on stage 19 of the race with Černý putting in a monster ride after going solo from the day’s breakaway in the final 20 kilometers of the race.
Černý’s stage win came off the back of two strong time trial performances on the opening stage of the ‘corsa rosa’ as well as stage 14, finishing sixth and fifth respectively, and today (25 October), the Czech time trial champion wrapped up his 2020 season in sixth place.
Kamil Gradek and Joey Rosskopf also put in solid efforts out on the city center course with the Polish national champion joining Černý in the top ten, finishing ninth, with the former US champion 16th.
CCC Team raced aggressively from Sicily to Milan with some more strong breakaway performances which saw Joey Rosskopf take two fourth places on stages eight and 12 with Kamil Małecki and Ilnur Zakarin also narrowly missing out on podium results following their respective efforts on stages 16 and 17.
On the final road stage, Attila Valter showed his promise as a young rider after climbing to ninth in Sestriere and racing amongst the main General Classification contenders right up to the closing meters of the penultimate day of the race.
After crossing the finish line in Milan, here’s what all remaining CCC Team riders, Pavel Kochetkov was unfortunately forced to stop racing following a crash on stage seven, had to say about the past three weeks of racing.
“Today was a really fast time trial and I felt good but I think I was just missing something in my legs, especially after my effort to get the stage win two days ago. I was feeling a bit tired towards the end but sixth is still a good result and it means I have finished all of the time trials inside the top ten, with one fifth and two sixth places. My stage win is, of course, my highlight of this Giro d’Italia and it’s a moment I will remember forever so overall, this has been a special race for me.”
Víctor de la Parte:
“It’s been another really difficult Giro d’Italia but I think we’ve worked well together and in the end, we achieved the goal of a stage win thanks to a great ride from Pepe and also some good performances from the young guys on our team. It’s been a strange season for everyone but personally, this has been a nice three weeks of racing and a good ending to 2020. We raced aggressive right from the beginning I think and on some of the mountain stages, I was able to give my best and help Zakarin, particularly on stage 17.”
“Generally, I am happy with this Giro because in this last week I had good legs and that’s pretty nice for me because last year I was really suffering. I have a little bit of disappointment as well because I was thinking that maybe I could have been in a good breakaway that went to the end but in the end, it never happened. However, my time trial performances were good, I was just a bit unlucky in the first one. Making the top ten was the place for today’s stage and so I happy to finish my season with a nice result.”
“This was my first Grand Tour and over the last three weeks racing, I have really gained a lot of experience and I also feel like I have been able to show my strength as a rider, especially on stage 16 when I was really up there and finding all the way to the line. Fourth place was a good result especially against more experienced riders and I will take a lot of confidence out of that performance moving forward into 2021.”
“It is always a really rewarding feeling to finishing a three-week race. It’s an experience we all go through together and so just making it to the end is an achievement. However, this year we had a lot of success along the way. A stage win is always the goal and Černý did an amazing job to pull that off. The rest of us all had our aggressive days and even just making it into the breakaways on the right days when it will go to the line isn’t something I have been able to do that often in Grand Tours so that feels like a step in the right direction for me compared to other years. I have had better time trial results in every other Grand Tour I have done so maybe I traded that a bit for the more aggressive style of chasing breakaways but my legs still feel pretty decent at the end so going into next year, I want to make sure that doesn’t slip at all.”
“Honestly, I am really happy that this Giro d’Italia is finished, I have never been so tired in my entire life. It’s been a really hard three weeks at my first Grand Tour and it’s definitely been a roller coaster of emotions but I’m really pleased that I finished it off with a good performance on stage 20. It felt like a relief to get that top ten finish and really gave me a lot of confidence riding some of those GC contenders off my wheel. I’ve learned a lot about myself and also racing Grand Tours, and, I think, that was the most important thing for me here.”
“If I’m honest with myself, I was expecting a bit more at this Giro d’Italia but overall, it’s been a good three weeks with a nice group of riders. I did come close to the win on stage 17 and I was able to put in some good performances on the climbs so I know that my shape was there, I just didn’t find the right opportunity. It’s been a hard three weeks so it feels good to finish the 2020 season and now, I’m looking forward to taking some time to recover and spend time with my family.”
Sports Director, Gabriele Missaglia:
“At the end, I am very happy with how we have raced here at the Giro d’Italia. We stared with a relatively young rider roster including riders who were racing their first Grand Tour but everyone gave their best right front the beginning. Our first priority was a stage win but at the start we were also looking to try for the General Classification and that was more of our focus up until the stage to Cesenatico. After that we were almost always present at the front of the race in the breakaways and in the end, we got the victory with Černý which was amazing for the team, the riders here and for me. We also had some good time trial results and today, we finished the race off with another good one from Pepe so, overall we can leave feeling good about what we have done and how everyone here ends their season.”
Stage 21/ITT: Cernusco sul Naviglio > Milan (15.7km)
Top 3: 1. Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) 2. Victor Campernaets (NTT Pro Cycling) 3. Rohan Dennis (INEOS Grenadiers)
CCC Team Top 3: 6. Josef Černý 9. Kamil Gradek 16. Joey Rosskopf
Top 3 on GC: 1. Tao Geoghegan Hart (INEOS Grenadiers) 2. Jai Hindley (Team Sunweb) 3. Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)
CCC Team Top 3 on GC: 22. Ilnur Zakarin 27. Attila Valter 34. Víctor de la Parte