That Ganna took out the win wasn't that remarkable, expectation comes with the territory as the reigning world champion in the discipline, but the manner of the win impressed mightily.
With margins of victory so small normally over these short distances, to win by ten seconds to your nearest competitor was significant. Bouncing back after a series of losses in time trials at the Tour de Romandie under the pressure and the spotlight of the biggest race in Italy added to the challenge.
Throw in the fact that Ganna is also splitting his preparation at the moment between the road and the track in preparation for the Olympics, and you begin to get a sense of what a phenomenal athlete the Italian star is.
“There was a bit of tension,” Ganna admitted to journalists after the race. “The prognostics weren’t in my favour beforehand, but I wanted to win. The Tour of Romandie was good preparation but it was also a blow to my morale because I didn’t manage to bring home a result in either of the time trials and being so many seconds off the first riders hurt me a bit."
"There were some polemics and people were saying I wasn’t competitive anymore, but with maybe 70 race days in a season, you can’t be competitive all year round. Sometimes you prefer to be less ready at some events to save yourself for others.”
Ganna is preparing for the team pursuit at the Tokyo Olympics and had a track block ahead of the Tour de Romandie which he said hurt his results there. There was little sign of any poor form as he stormed to the win on the Giro opener, taking the pink jersey which he should hold for at least a couple of stages.
Velon posted some of the numbers from the back end of Ganna's ride that show why he's currently the world's best, topping 60 kilometres in the final two kilometres for an average over the whole course of 58.748km/hr.
Ganna won four stages of last year's Giro d'Italia, three time trials and a mountain stage, and wore the leader's jersey for two stages. There's only one other time trial this year at the Giro, the final stage, but Ganna was happy to focus on the present for the moment.
“Let’s say getting back to winning is nice, especially when you’ve had some bad time trials beforehand,” said Ganna. “The jersey seems pinker this time, I’m happy to have it on my shoulders.
"I wanted it even more this time than I did last year, and it gives me a bit of morale for the Giro. If I’d lost, I’d have been a bit down for the next few days, but this helps a lot for the next 20 stages.”