photo credits @ Tirreno-Adriatico
Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) won the opening time trial of the Tirreno-Adriatico today, after the Italian rider smashed the competition, putting 23 seconds into second-placed Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) in just 11.5 kilometers.
Meanwhile, Ganna’s teammate Magnus Sheffield spent ample time in the hot seat before being knocked off by Kämna, withstanding challenges from Michael Hepburn (Jayco-AlUla) and Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates).
However, when Ganna took to the course, he quickly began opening up time over the previous top finishers and by the end, riding a full 2kph faster than Kämna, had opened up a margin that will see him in the blue leader’s jersey for several stages.
“I just think to ride as fast as possible. Two days ago I didn’t know what my performance today could be, but I believe to do the maximum possible for me and for the Italian people.
“It’s really nice because after many many podiums, now the victory arriving is very important for me. I think also for the morale and for the Classics it can be a special motivation in my head.
“I think that [Sheffield] did an amazing performance and he’s in amazingly good shape. For sure, we have one of the best teams here to do something good.”
Heavy rain, and hail at times, meant the conditions got faster towards the end of the day, although it did not stop Ineos’ Magnus Sheffield from initially storming into first place, before dropping to third when Ganna and Kamna came across the line.
Michael Hepburn (Jayco AlUla) was fourth, just two seconds shy of the top three, with McNulty fifth and Thymen Arensman, another Ineos flyer, sixth.
Primoz Roglic was joint 12th on his first race of 2023, having had shoulder surgery at the end of last year, so it was a strong performance from the Jumbo-Visma rider – especially given the torrential rain that hampered the early riders.
Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin–Deceuninck) was 14th, Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) was 17th, while Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) appeared to not be going for an all-out effort as they were 45th and 70th respectively.
Tuesday’s stage is one for the sprinters where Mark Cavendish (Astana Qazaqstan) will be among the leading contenders.
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