Davide Cimolai (Israel Cycling Academy) returned to winning ways at the recent Tour de Wallonie, a positive moment for the Italian who has spoken out after a difficult few months after his wife left him during the Giro d'Italia, breaking the news by phone and revealing she had started seeing her boss.
The Italian won the third stage to Verviers last week after saying he has "suffered" in the time since.
"In this victory, in this photo, there is all of myself," he wrote below an Instagram photo of him celebrating the win.
"To start riding my bike after the Giro d'Italia seemed impossible, difficult to image and explain everything that I went through, dealt with and above all, suffered. To my friends, I am dedicating this victory with all my heart, because you were near me in this most difficult period of my life."
The story emerged only this weekend of how 29-year-old Cimolai dealt with his emotions along with the already difficult Italian Grand Tour this May.
"We had been together for six years, she dumped me for her boss. You can't imagine the effort I had to get through to arrive at the finish Verona," he told Tutto Bici.
"I was married in October, very much in love. Six months later, while I am leaving for the Giro, my wife tells me that she wants to be alone, that she needs time and space to understand what she is feeling towards me. We were together for six years, five and a half of those living together.
"She knew about my work and the sacrifices that it entails, she suffered from the distance but was used to it. There had been some little talks in the past, but we had always overcome it together."
On the second rest day, Cimolai heard from his wife that she wanted a divorce. Instead of focusing on the most difficult week of the Giro d'Italia to come, his mind was elsewhere.
He continued the race, coming seventh in the stage 18 sprint and finishing in Verona five hours behind winner Richard Carapaz (Movistar Team).
"It was the worst day of my life. To discover that the woman you love has lost her head for her boss," he added.
"Arriving in Verona, was difficult but gratifying because at the Arena I renewed my contract with the team. The hours on the bike were the least of the effort because in that last week of the Giro, I was sleeping three hours a night."
Cimolai heads to England for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic on Sunday August 3 and after that the European Championship, supporting Elia Viviani (Deceuninck-Quick Step) and Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott).
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.
Want to take your riding up a level? Here's how to become a better cyclist in seven simple steps
Straightforward advice to help you ride faster and longer
By Robert Hicks • Published
Woodrup's retro-inspired 'path racer' reimagines the fixie for the gravel generation
Leeds brand recreates the type of bike that was designed for unpaved roads as well as track racing in the 19th century - and it's surprisingly relevant
By Simon Smythe • Published