Geraint Thomas refused to give up hope of General Classification success at the Giro d’Italia despite falling further behind the leaders on stage 11.
“I was suffering all day and I had a really sore knee as well and I just had to finish as best I could.
There’s a couple of easy days coming up which will hopefully play to my advantage.
It's been an incredibly brave and impressive performance for Geraint to come through both days
"The sprinters will want to take their opportunities."
Cioni was also full of praise for Thomas's efforts since Sunday's crash on the Blockhaus stage.
He added: "Crashing at 50kph is naturally going to take its toll and yesterday's Time Trial and today's stage were both very hard days.
"It's been an incredibly brave and impressive performance for Geraint to come through both days".