World Champion wins opening time trial
On a day of sirocco wind blowing in Sicily, the ITT World Champion Filippo Ganna, in his first participation to the Giro d’Italia, stormed to victory in the opening individual time trial at the average speed of 58.831km/h. Youngsters Joao Almeida and Mikkel Bjerg, each also making their Giro d’Italia debuts, rounded out the podium. Geraint Thomas placed himself first of the GC favourites in fourth position while Miguel Angel Lopez crashed out.
Filippo Ganna recorded the all-time best average speed of a time trial in a Grand Tour: 58.831km/h. He bettered the 56.218km/h by Ruben Plaza on Stage 20 of the 2005 Vuelta a España. The absolute record in a race against the clock at Grand Tours remains 58.874km/h by Rik Verbrugghe in the 7.5km long prologue of the 2001 Giro d’Italia.
The last rider to have claimed the win and therefore the Maglia Rosa on his Giro d’Italia debut was Lukas Pöstlberger, in Olbia in 2017.
The last Italian to win an opening ITT of the Giro d’Italia before Ganna was Paolo Savoldelli in Seraing in 2006.
The stage winner and Maglia Rosa Filippo Ganna, said in the press conference: “This is only pride for myself, for the nation and for Italian cycling. My main concern was to ride clean. I’ve seen some riders had problems. I’ve won four World Championships on the track, one in time trialling and today this wonderful jersey. I hope to not finish my career here and there is more to come. We will now work to help our captain Geraint Thomas.”
The Maglia Azzurra Rick Zabel, said: “One kilometer is an effort I can handle. When I saw the route I thought I had a chance to do a good time and I had nothing else to hope for in a time trial so I had a go. Warming up, I thought Peter Sagan’s time would be hard to beat but I’m very happy to have achieved this.”