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Milan and Ganna, thermonuclear power on the Giro


One does not win Olympic gold medals on the track by chance. That applies to Jonathan Milan, to Filippo Ganna and, why not, to Simone Consonni. As chance would have it, these three riders shared a five-ring apotheosis just a few years ago, wearing the blue jersey of the Italian national squad in the team pursuit in Tokyo 2020, and they will try to repeat that performance in a few months’ time in Paris 2024.

Today, these three talented Italians literally ignited the last kilometres of the Milano-Sanremo-style Acqui Terme – Andora stage which, just like the Classicissima, gave us a jaw-dropping finale. The first great thrill of the day actually came from Biniam Girmay who, due to a double crash within just a few kilometres, was forced to abandon the Giro.

A few kilometres later, at the foot of the Capo Mele climb, with the peloton launched at 60 km/h, Filippo Ganna decided it was a good time to try a late attack, launching a deadly slingshot with 4 km to go. Several riders tried to chase the Italian but were sucked in by the sprinting bunch. Pippo held on, finished Capo Mele with a few seconds margin and looked to be away at one point.

Then, the Lidl-Trek train opened up the lead-out. Consonni, who is used to work alongside both Milan and Ganna in the national team, caught up the locomotive of Verbania and dropped Milan off with around 300m to go. Ganna’s thermonuclear was replaced by Milan’s, which is capable of even higher peaks in terms of power. The giant from Buja exulted on the shores of the Ligurian Sea exactly one year after his first Giro victory, in San Salvo.

And what about the Maglia Rosa Tadej Pogačar? Today, for the first time, he kept quiet and left the scene to others. But he will be back soon…

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