Filippo Ganna makes history at Imola2020: the first Italian gold medal in the world time trial

The Italian anthem filled the air at the 2020 UCI Road World Championships in Imola – Emilia RomagnaFilippo Ganna was crowned as the time trial world champion. It is an historic achievement, since no Italian athlete had ever suceeded in conquering the rainbow jersey in the race against the clock. 
The 24 year-old rider from Piedmont prevailed on the Belgian Wout van Aert and the Swiss Stefan Kung, taming the 31.7 km flat course of the Elite Men’s Time Trial at a stunning average speed of 52.978 kph. Stronger than the wind and his rivals, the “azzurro” hunk wears the first rainbow jersey in this specialty after being a four-time world champion in individual pursuit.

This rainbow jersey is a dream for me

the new world champion says with excitment, after having been embraced by his family.

The time to celebrate this achievement will come, but now I need to keep focused on the Giro d'Italia. I’ll target stage 1 there, and then we’ll try to help Geraint Thomas for the overall. As soon as the Tirreno-Adriatico was over, I went to train at altitude, and this was very important: there was no signal and I connected to the wi-fi just rarely. Not being able to read the social media feeds - where they said that I was the favourite - helped me to keep the pressure down.

Today I wanted to do well at all cost. Last night I sent a text to Cassani to tell him, 'tomorrow I want to win’: I reached that result and I’m really happy. My contenders today were great champions, such as van Aert – who just a few days ago brought his team almost to the top of the Tour de France.

Whom do I dedicate my win? To my dear ones. In difficult time, such as during the lockdown months, it’s your head that makes you take that extra step. My parents have been teaching me that since I was a child

The silver medallist, the Belgian Wout van Aert accepts the second place and comments on his race:

In the second part, I gained somewhat and I still had something in my legs at the finish, but before the intermediate I was already some time down on Ganna, who deserved to win. I cannot but congrat him for his victory. I hope I’ll recover at best tomorrow. The time trial is a hard effort, but it’s just 35 minutes. I feel I have the same legs of last week, so I’m confident for Sunday. We’ll see how it goes. It’s going to be a hard race for everyone, and the differences will be made on the long course.

In third place, the Swiss Stefan Kung says:

Today, for me, the goal was to win the TT or fight for the podium. Ganna made a really outstanding achievement and, therefore, I’m happy about my result. Today’s field had the top world contenders and this podium is a great reward for the hard work we did during the lockdown, when I trained a lot for this time trial. A big ‘thank’ to my team that supported me during my preparation. I was able to leave the Tour to be in my best form today. I want to thank my team here, but also the World Championships Organising Committee and the UCI for giving us this great opportunity.

Order of arrival

1) GANNA Filippo (Italy) km 31.7 in 35:54.10 average speed 52.978 km/h

2) van AERT Wout (Belgium) +26.72

3) KUNG Stefan (Switzerland) +29.80

4) THOMAS Geraint (Great Britain) +37.02

5) DENNIS Rohan (Australia) +39.76

6) ASGREEN Kasper (Denmark) +47.13

7) CAVAGNA Remi (France) +48.35

8) CAMPENAERTS Victor (Belgium) +52.81

9) DOWSETT Alex (Great Britain) +1:06.38

10) DUMOULIN Tom (Netherlands) +1:14.06

In the cover image Filippo Ganna shows the gold medal proudly. Below in action, during the celebrations with the Italian National Team, on the podium, with van Aert and with the Imola2020 Organiser Marco Selleri. 

photo ©Bettini Photo – Imola2020 

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