Filippo Ganna will start in the final wave of riders of Monday’s Tirreno-Adriatico time trial, with Ineos Grenadiers hoping the rain will have eased when the Italian rolls down the start ramp at 3:40 pm local time in Italy.
Rain and 20km crosswinds are forecast for much of Monday on the Tuscan coast, north of Pisa, with the 11.5km time trial going up and down the pan-flat seafront between Lido di Camaiore and Marina di Pietrasanta.
“I’ve been messaging with my coach about the weather. He thinks it should be the same for everyone and so it’s a lottery for everyone,” Ganna said with his usual pragmatism on Sunday, perhaps aware he has few time trial rivals in this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico.
“There’s only really one corner, the rest of the course is fast, even if it does rain. We’ll see but I don’t think it’ll be easy, whatever the weather. I don’t know how my rivals are going or if they’ll be competitive. We’ll see on Monday afternoon.”
It is difficult to see who can beat Ganna on the pan flat out and back 11.5km course along the Tuscan seafront.
He won a similar stage in 2022, beating Remco Evenepoel and Pogacar by 11 and 18 seconds respectively. However, in 2021 Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) beat Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ) and Ganna to win the 10km final time trial stage. The Belgian has beaten Ganna on other occasions too but the Italian beat him to win the world title in both 2020 and 2021.
Van Aert was quick to play down his chances after his recent illness and loss of training time while at altitude, and with both Evenepoel and Pogacar absent. Van Aert has opted to start his timer trial early and is off at 12:56 pm local time. Wilco Kelderman gets Jumbo-Visma’s last time trial slot at 3:25pm.
It is difficult to see who can produce more power and more speed than Ganna on Monday. It is his race to lose.
Primoz Roglic (Jubo-Visma) is riding but is making his season debut after his complex shoulder surgery and gradual rehabilitation during the winter. Most other time trialists have been sent to Paris-Nice for the vital team time trial stage.
Names to remember include early starter Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo), Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) and Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates).
Ganna will ride in Italy for the time this year at Tirreno-Adriatico and is glad to be on home turf, even if it comes with bigger expectations from the tifosi and himself.
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