I don't know why he's the first that came to mind, maybe their relentlessness. There are certainly more kinds of profiles between "stage hunter" and "GC rider"
You two are more knowledgable about cycling than me, what rider of the recent past is Ciccone more similar too, in your opinion? (regardless of nationality). It's probably too early for a comparison?
I think he was a bit bad positioned when Ala and Pinot attacked. If he was Treks GC leader, i think Mollema and Porte could have reeled them in (and probably still lost the jersey due to stage bonus seconds). No team was chasing them hard once the gap was established.