Italy’s Filippo Ganna won the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia for the second straight year on Saturday, powering to victory in the 8.6km time-trial through Turin.
World time-trial champion Ganna again pulled on the leader’s pink jersey after finishing nearly 10 seconds faster than compatriot Edoardo Affini of Jumbo-Visma in the race against the clock.
Ineos rider Ganna, a native of the Piedmont province in north-western Italy, last year won all the three time-trials in the race which took place in October due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But the 24-year-old had suffered from a recent slump in form, losing the time-trial on the final day of Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy in March to end an eight-race winning streak in the discipline stretching back to August 2020.Ganna then went on to lose both time-trials on the recent Tour de Romandie.
“I didn’t feel I was ready for this race,” said Ganna, also a four-time world champion in individual pursuit, after Saturday’s win.
“My morale wasn’t great after the Tour de Romandie. Now it’s back up! “It’s been a long time,” he added. “I hope to recover well by tomorrow because this is only the start of the Giro.”
Portuguese Joao Almeida of Deceuninck-Quick Step, who was fourth on the stage behind Norwegian Tobias Foss, set the best time for the candidates for overall victory, 17 seconds behind Ganna.—AFP