Hear from our riders, as they celebrate the end of a successful Giro d’Italia

May 26, 2024

All roads led to Rome and now we’re here.

Tonight, we are going to celebrate a successful Giro d’Italia. We came to Italy to win a stage and got it when our German grand tour rookie Georg Steinhauser reached the summit of the Passo Brocon first on stage 17. Georg’s win was a reward for the fighting spirit that our whole team showed from the start to the end of our journey to Rome. We attacked every time we saw a chance and got up ready to attack again every time we got beat.

We are proud of the courage and panache we showed in Italy over the course of the past three weeks. This evening, we’re going to miss Andrea Piccolo and Simon Carr, who both had to leave the Giro early due to injuries, but we’re looking forward to racing with them both again soon.

It is a lot of fun to race like we did this Giro. It’s also exhausting. We left everything on the roads of Italy. So, tonight we’re going to enjoy a relaxing meal together.

First, let us recount the 2024 Giro in our own words.

Georg Steinhauser

I’m completely finished now. You know, I remember the feeling I had when we talked before the Giro about how it was going to be to arrive in Rome. I got super nervous then and just thought, I want to have this feeling, I just want to arrive in Rome, I just want to have this achievement. And now I have arrived in Rome with a stage win and the two third places. That is just insane. It’s unbelievable. Before I would hear about some professional and hear that they were a stage winner and think, ok, they are a proper good racer. Now, I have this achievement and nobody can take it from me. I’m just super proud. Seeing all the emotions from my father, my whole family, and all my friends was a super nice feeling.

Stage 10 was really hard. I was a little bit sick over the rest day and on stage 10, I was really, really struggling. It was nice to have Piccolo with me in the grupetto because he cheered me on, gave me some food, and just made it easier for me. But this day was one of my most terrible days on the bike ever. When I came to the finish, I was thinking that this was my last day, because I was feeling so shit, but somehow I recovered from it.

That I could do all these performances in the last week was very special, because I had never raced for so many days in a row. It was completely, completely new for me, but I liked it and I felt good. I felt better in the last week than in the first week. Yesterday was a terrible day. I was just over the limit. I was super fatigued and I really had to fight to get to the finish, but I’m sure I wasn't alone.

I don't really know what the rest of the season is going to look like but after a few days of rest, I'm going to set myself new goals and work towards them. I want to do another grand tour. The Italian atmosphere and the Italian flair inspired me. It was just something special.

Stefan de Bod

It was a really good Giro. My personal goals were probably not 100 percent achieved, but one major one was to get to Rome. I went two years with the two grand tours that I didn't finish, so to arrive safely without crazy injuries or sickness or whatever makes me pretty happy.

You go through so many emotions, so many ups and downs, good days, bad days, really cold weather, hot weather, all the different things that play a role in the race and make it super tough. Suffering together with your teammates and also the staff you grow with the team and you get a different type of bond with your teammates and your staff members. I think that's really special. Everyone has their good and bad days, but the nicest thing is when you get that stage victory. That’s what we came for. The day that Georg won, you could see everyone was so happy. The morale of the team was so nice. It really feels like one big family with everyone supporting each other. You suffer, but it's all worth it.

I think this is the race that I learned the most from. It will change me as a rider. The sports directors, the whole staff, were absolutely great. It was just a pleasure being here. You know, there wasn't one day where I thought, I wish I were home, but now I’m looking forward to seeing my family and just relaxing for a couple of days. And then, we will go again. There is still a long season to go. Let’s take this as a stepping stone for the whole team.

Esteban Chaves

It is always special to arrive at the end of a grand tour. We have had a lot of ups and downs, every single one of us, and to arrive in Rome makes me proud, to arrive with this team makes me proud. To get to Rome with a stage winner makes me proud and to finish my fourth Giro d’Italia makes me proud—and pretty broken as well. It was hard. I put my heart and my soul into it. This is the first grand tour I have finished with this team, so that is pretty special. Georg’s victory was unbelievable. I was happy to be a part of his first WorldTour grand tour victory. That was really special.

Now we need to assimilate this load and look forward to the second part of the season, which I have a feeling will be pretty fun.

Jefferson Cepeda

We had 21 really hard days. I’m happy to now be in Rome.

I hoped for more. I wanted more from this Giro. It wasn’t my best one, but it was a good one for the team. I did not like my form. I would have liked more, to fight for a stage, to be in position to win. But in the end that was not to be. Now, I will rest and focus on the second part of the season. I will try my best. Cycling’s like this, you know, it’s good days and bad days and you need to face the bad days too.

I’m happy to end it, but I would have liked to get more from this Giro.

Mikkel Honoré

To finish in Rome is something really special. After my crash on stage four and fracturing my rib, I have been in pain for so long. I never really imagined that I would make it here. I'm super happy to reach Rome. It’s been a tough, tough Giro, a good one for the team. We got the stage win with Georg. That was super special to be part of. It’s special to be a part of this team.

Since the crash, I never really got 100% back to myself and obviously I was a bit disappointed because of that, but I kept pushing, even though I had to adjust my personal ambitions. That’s cycling. I’m stubborn and just love the Giro d'Italia. It means so much to me. My family was here and I wanted to honor the race. I was super motivated to try and help the team as much as possible and give it 100% to at least make a difference for the team. For me, that was a huge motivation, to be there and try and help the team as much as possible and make a difference in the end.

Tonight, we’re going celebrate with a super nice dinner all together, with some of the best Italian food and a little bit of wine. For me, that is one of the favorite moments of a grand tour. Tonight is the time to celebrate all together.

Michael Valgren

It’s been a great Giro for us as a team. We were really aggressive and we got away with the stage win, so the goal was achieved. I was really close a few times myself. I think we got the most out of it. We really animated the stages that we wanted to animate, so I think we can be quite happy.

I’m proud. I had a few marks on the race book where I wanted to go for it and on all those days I made it into the absolute finale, but then I was just beaten by some stronger guys, which is fair enough. I still managed to get up there really well. I’m actually really proud of myself. For me to ride three finales in a grand tour is something I've never done before in my whole career. Now, I know I am back to the level to be in the fight for wins and that gives me a lot of confidence going into the other races of the season. I hope that I can continue this trend and when the races suit me a bit better, I’ll be able to win them. I think that if I can continue going how I am going, I will be fighting for some wins later in the season.

But right now, I'm tired. Tonight, we will have some drinks with the team, a nice dinner, and just enjoy the moment. This is something that I actually missed when I was coming back from my injury, this post-grand tour feeling. It’s just special.

Sports Director Matti Breschel

The first word that comes to my mind is success. Obviously, the stage win from Georg was huge and what we were aiming for. Beyond that, we were more or less in every break, or at least the ones that made it to the line except for one. It’s been a real pleasure to see the guys racing. Everyone’s been feeding off each other's energy and making it really, really fun.

We all know how nervous Georg was before the start of his first grand tour. On stage eight, he proved not only to us, but most importantly to himself, that he was good enough to win. That was super important and crucial. We really wanted to win that stage and everyone bought into it. That was really special to see.

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