His engineering resume in August will be particularly useful to Filippo Ganna. The Italian became the new hour record holder on Saturday, covering 56,792 kilometers on the track at the Granges velodrome, Switzerland.
Starting with caution, the 2020 and 2021 dual-time world champion has gradually increased his pedaling speed to improve by more than a kilometer the milestone set by his performance engineer at Ineos-Grenadiers, the Briton Dan Bigham, 31, the 19 August in the same velodrome (55,548 kilometers). A former track racer, Bigham had attempted this world record to gather data that could help … Ganna in her quest for the hour record.
A first for an Italian since 1984
With this performance, Ganna, 26, wipes British Chris Boardman’s (56.375km) mark off the shelves in 1996. This distance was canceled by the International Cycling Union after a change in the equipment regulation. “It’s incredible. It’s fantastic. I achieved my goal. Thanks to my staff and everyone who contributed to this record,” he rejoiced after the effort.
The first Italian to break the hour record after Francesco Moser (1984), Ganna has established himself in recent years as one of the most impressive riders in the group. In addition to his two time trial world champion titles, he won four gold medals in the individual pursuit at the World Cup and Olympic gold in the team pursuit event in 2021 at the Tokyo Games.
A disappointing season
His record also embellishes a so far disappointing season. Only seventh in the recent time trial at the World Championships in Wollongong, Australia, Ganna was also beaten at the European Championships and disappointed at the Tour de France in July, taking only 4th place from the 1st stage and 5th at Rocamadour.
On Saturday, at the Granges velodrome, Ganna counted at the start of her race almost four seconds behind Bigham. But the Italian, perfectly profiled on his bike created especially for him by the Pinarello brand with a 3D printed frame to increase aerodynamic performance, gradually reached his engineer to pass in front after about twenty minutes. “The hardest threshold has come in the last five minutes. I didn’t have enough energy to do the 57 kilometers. But that’s okay, ”Ganna smiled.
In front of a conquered and noisy audience, the slim Piedmontese (1.93 m, 76 kg) crossed the finish line raising his arms, before being embraced by the members of the Italian track cycling delegation. After the ecstasy record of the hour, Ganna was able to experience new joys during the World Championships on the track, in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, near Paris, from 12 to 16 October.