His engineer’s record in August will have served Filippo Ganna particularly well. The Italian became the new holder of the hour record on Saturday with 56,792 kilometers on the cycling track of Granges, Switzerland.
The 2020 and 2021 double time trial world champion has cautiously increased his pedaling speed to improve by more than a kilometer, the figure his performance engineer at Ineos-Grenadiers, 31-year-old Briton Dan Bigham, set at the same velodrome on 19 August ( 55,548 kilometers). Old track driverBigham had tried this world record to collect data that would probably help… Ganna in his quest for the hour record.
A first for an Italian since 1984
With this performance, Ganna, 26, wiped the mark of Brit Chris Boardman (56,375 km) off the shelves in 1996. the international cycling union after a change in equipment regulations. “It’s unbelievable. It’s fantastic. I achieved my goal. I thank my staff and everyone who contributed to this record,” he cheered after the effort.
Ganna, the first Italian to break the hour record since Francesco Moser (1984), has established himself in recent years as one of the most impressive riders in the peloton. In addition to his two world time trial titles, he won four gold medals in the individual pursuit at the World Championships and Olympic gold in the team pursuit at the 2021 Tokyo Games.
A disappointing season
His record also beautifies a disappointing season so far. Only seventh in the recent world time trial in Wollongong, Australia, Ganna was also beaten at the European Championships and disappointed in the times of the Tour de Francein July, only 4th in the 1st stage and 5th in Rocamadour.
On Saturday, at the Granges velodrome, Ganna counted to almost four seconds behind Bigham at the start of his race. But the Italian, perfectly profiled on his bike made especially for him by the Pinarello brand with a 3D-printed frame to improve aerodynamic performance, gradually overtook his engineer to pass in front after twenty minutes. “The hardest hurdle came in the last five minutes. I didn’t have enough energy to cover the 57 kilometers. But that’s okay,’ Ganna smiled.
The slender Piedmontese (1.93m, 76kg) crossed the line in front of a captivated and boisterous crowd, before being embraced by members of the Italian track cycling delegation. After the ecstasy of the hour record, Ganna was able to experience new pleasures from October 12 to 16 at the Worlds on track, in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, near Paris.