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Top Ganna, tick tick boom


It even happens to a 193 cm giant who exudes power from every pore to be moved by a victory at the Giro d’Italia. It matters little if Filippo Ganna had already won six stages in the Corsa Rosa, because today’s stage, the time trial from Castiglione delle Stiviere to Desenzano del Garda, was special for countless reasons.

Firstly, the pressure of having to win at all costs, on a pan-flat course that best suited him, and then the need to make up for the defeat suffered in Perugia, when Tadej Pogačar had snatched the win on Stage 7. The Piedmontese rider had not won for 256 days – his longest fast since he turned pro, pandemic excluded -, this year he had yet to win, and his throne as the world’s best time trialist was beginning to dangerously wobble.

A mix of burdens thus heaped on his shoulders, increasing tension and impatience for a long-awaited victory. And so, when that victory finally came, Pippo let himself go in a liberating cry of joy. 53.434 km/h was the average speed at which he crossed the finish line on the shores of Lake Garda. Of the 10 fastest time trials in the history of the Giro d’Italia, 5 were won by Ganna, just to point out what kind of rider this guy from Verbania is.

This time, Ganna managed to hold off the Maglia Rosa Tadej Pogacar who, on the other hand, thanks to a brilliant ride, trimmed a few more tens of seconds off his direct GC rivals. With a lead of 3’41” over the second, Geraint Thomas, Tadej has the widest margin on stage 14 since 1990 and Gianni Bugno’s all-pink Giro. And the best is yet to come! The big mountains are coming, the big elevation gains, those that have inspired writers and poets. The Alps are coming.

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