Puccio also lined up at his home Grand Tour, the Giro d’Italia, in 2017. In his six seasons as a pro it’s the third time he’s tackled multiple Grand Tours in a season. Despite the relentless nature of three-week races, Puccio thrives in the endurance.
He admits: “I like to do the Grand Tours as it suits me more when I can recover day by day. I feel much better doing a Grand Tour than a one-day race from this perspective. On a Grand Tour you have a routine every day and for that reason I like to do two Grand Tours in a year. I also find doing two Grand Tours helps you going into the next season. If you can do the Giro and the Vuelta it works really well. Taking a rest after the Giro allows you to do another Grand Tour, and honestly I feel better in myself and my body doing a Grand Tour rather than some one-day races.”
Puccio witnessed first-hand the highs and lows of cycling in his two Grand Tour outings. The success and champagne of the Vuelta was contrasted with a crushing Giro d’Italia, which saw Team Sky’s two co-leaders, Geraint Thomas and Mikel Landa, taken out in a crash along with most of the team.
“In the Giro we had a lot of bad luck there losing two leaders in one day. Just one crash, and in less than the space of one minute our GC challenge went away. After that stage we had to make a different plan with Landa. For me it was like the season before at the Vuelta, where we were in a position to win and then we lost everything at the start of stage 15. It was the same disappointment and these things definitely leave a scar. At the start of every Grand Tour you try to do your best and not make any mistakes, because you know that just a few minutes can change everything in the race.”