Filippo Ganna destroyed his rivals to win the opening time trial of Tirreno-Adriatico 2023 in style.
In difficult weather conditions, with torrential rain and hail stones leaving the ground treacherous, the Italian champion annihilated any form of competition to win the day with an average speed of 55.3 kph. Sitting in the hot seat as Ganna crossed the line, Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) could only admire the stunning performance as he was forced to settle for second place, 23 seconds off the time set by Ganna.
American teammate of Ganna, Magnus Sheffield spent a large portion of the day at the top of the leaderboard, simply keeping the top spot warm for the Italian, before Kämna displaced him with his solid ride.
Earlier on in proceedings, Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) and Michael Hepburn (Jayco-AIUla) were two other notable performers, narrowly missing out on knocking Sheffield off his pedestal before Ganna dropped down the start ramp.
Once he was out on course, there was only ever going to be one winner. Ganna flew around the slippery course, setting a remarkable average speed and riding a full 2kph faster than anyone else to take his first win of the 2023 season.
On his return from injury, Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) finished 49 seconds down on Ganna. Two pre-race favourites, Jai Hindley (Bora-hansgrohe) and Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroen) were 51 and 52 seconds back respectively.
How it happened
Stage one’s opening time trial in Lido di Camaiore would be a short affair, at just 11.5 kilometres in length. Racing began in a torrential downpour- later turning into a brief hailstorm- a recipe for disaster in any racing scenario, let alone one against the clock.
It wasn’t long before American Magnus Sheffield (Ineos Grenadiers) set the fastest time that would keep him provisionally at the top of the leaderboard. Sheffield’s time of 12-59 was narrowly missed by Australian duo Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroen) who were 20 and 21 seconds off the Ineos man’s time respectively.
Next of the big favourites to come in was Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) who finished 47 seconds down on his former Ineos teammate Sheffield, and it wouldn’t be long before Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) would take to the fray.
Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) was next to cross the line for the pre-race favourites, finishing with a time of 13-18 which put him just ahead of Hindley, just missing out on the best time set by Sheffield….
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