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Tadej Pogačar crushes Giro d’Italia time trial to tighten grip on race lead

Tadej Pogačar crushes Giro d'Italia time trial to tighten grip on race lead

On Friday’s nearly-41-km time trial from Foligno to Perugia in Umbria, Giro d’Italia leader Tadej Pogačar padded his lead at the top of the GC by destroying the difficult course and winning his second stage of the 107th edition. The Slovenian beat chronon ace Filippo Ganna by 17 seconds and GC rival Geraint Thomas by two minutes. Pogačar now leads Dani Martinez by 2:36 at the top of the table.

The Course

After four days of bunch sprints and breakaway successes, it was time to reengage the GC scrap.

After 34 flat kilometres featuring Time Check 1 at the 18.6-km mark, Casaglia loomed up in a 1300-meter wall at 11.8 percent with a maximum slope of 16 percent. The final 6.6 km were four percent. Time Check 2 was at the foot of Casaglia. Riders could change bikes to ascend, but hardly anyone did.

After the first third of the field, Lidl-Trek had the best ride with Daan Hoole. His time of 54:16 averaged 44.889 km/h. Movistar’s Lorenzo Milesi, who was fifth best at both Time Check 1 and 2, knocked Hoole off the hotseat with 53:56.

Everyone was looking to Ganna to rule the long day. He set the fastest time at both checks. How would he do on the climb? He would have to overcome Mikel Bjerg, who posted 53:40. The Italian champion picked off eight riders ahead of him and crushed the chrono with 52:01.

Ganna’s total focus in the start house.

The start list hit the GC top-20, the gap between them 3:00.

Some thought Geraint Thomas could make up some of the 46-second deficit to Pogačar and distance third-place Dani Martinez on the day.

Thomas launches in Foligno.

Martinez came through Check 1 posting the 20th fastest time. Thomas held the 12th fastest. Pogačar was eight seconds faster than the Brit, 10th fastest.

At Check 2 Martinez was 14th fastest, Thomas was 9th fastest, and Pogačar was third.

Martinez finished seventh, jumping over Thomas into second place on GC by 10 seconds.

Luke Plapp rocketed up the GC, taking over the white jersey from Cian Uijtdebroeks. Ben O’Connor started the day in 11th and is now 47 seconds from the podium.

There’s a load of climbing on…

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