Ganna in the pink after going into the red on opening Giro stage

World champion of the time trial, Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers), was the man to watch on the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia, and managed a return to time trialing form, winning the opening 8.6-kilometre stage in Turin with a storming time of 8 minutes and 47 seconds at an average speed of 58.748kph.

104th Giro d'Italia 2021 - Stage 1

Filippo Ganna of INEOS Grenadiers celebrates taking the pink jersey after Stage 1 Source: Getty

Ganna took the maglia rosa on the opening day of the Giro d'Italia for the second year in a row with the win, adding to his already impressive tally of Giro stage wins, now to five stage victories out of just 22 stages completed.

The Italian had been coming off a few performances below his stunning best against the clock. He lost his previous two-time trial outings at the Tour de Romandie and Tirreno-Adriatico, but sizzled along the route that followed the course of the River Po to beat fellow Italian Edoardo Affini (Jumbo-Visma) into second place by ten seconds. Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) rounded out the podium with a time of 9 minutes flat, good for third.

"It’s been a lot of time that I wasn’t in the hot seat but I’m here and so I’m really happy," Ganna said after the stage. Now we have to think to tomorrow and to recovery to start what will be a really hard Giro.

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"I started with a small radio but I didn’t hear anything, so I told myself to go full gas and listen to the people along the road. If they cheered for me, then I knew I was going fast. That’s how I got this amazing victory.'

"After Romandie my morale was not too high, but now its back and I’m really happy."



The best of the general classification (GC) contenders were the Deceuninck-QuickStep pair of Joao Almeida and Remco Evenepoel, who finished fourth and seventh respectively. They gained valuable seconds on their rivals, while riders like Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious), Romain Bardet (Team DSM) and Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) will all start on the back foot, half a minute or more adrift from Almeida.

Australia's top-placed finisher was Michael Hepburn in 31st, with GC contender Jai Hindley 46 second behind Ganna and 29 seconds behind Almeida as he attempts to go one better from his runner-up finish overall last year.


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2 min read
Published 9 May 2021 at 7:43am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS