Traveling 56,792 km, Filippo Ganna breaks the hour record

His engineer record in August will have served Filippo Ganna particularly well. The Italian became the new hour record holder on Saturday, covering 56.792 kilometers on the track at the velodrome in Granges, Switzerland.

Starting cautiously, the two-time world time trial champion from 2020 and 2021 has increased his pedaling pace to improve by more than a kilometer the mark set by his performance engineer at Ineos-Grenadiers, the British Dan Bigham, 31, on August 19 at the same velodrome (55,548 kilometres). Bigham, a former track runner, had attempted this world record to collect data that might help… Ganna in his quest for the one hour record.

A first for an Italian since 1984

With this performance, 26-year-old Ganna erases from the shelves the mark of the British Chris Boardman (56.375 km) in 1996. This distance had been annulled by the International Cycling Union after a change in the regulations regarding equipment. “It’s incredible. It’s fantastic. I achieved my goal. I thank my staff and everyone who contributed to this album,” he rejoiced after the effort.

The first Italian to break the one-hour record since Francesco Moser (1984), Ganna has established himself in recent years as one of the most impressive cyclists in the peloton. In addition to his two world time trial champion titles, he won four gold medals in the individual pursuit at Worlds and Olympic gold in the team pursuit event at the 2021 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 fourth place on stage one and fifth at Rocamadour.

On Saturday at the Granges Velodrome, Ganna was nearly four seconds behind Bigham at the start of his race. But the Italian, perfectly outlined on his bike created especially for him by the Pinarello brand with a 3D printed frame to increase aerodynamic performance, little by little caught up with his engineer to go ahead after twenty minutes. “The hardest threshold came in the last five minutes. He did not have enough energy to do the 57 kilometers. But it’s okay,” Ganna smiled.

In front of a won over and noisy crowd, the slender Piedmontese (1.93m, 76kg) crossed the finish line with his arms raised, before being embraced by members of the Italian track cycling delegation. After the ecstasy of the hour record, Ganna could experience new joys during the World Championships on track, in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, near Paris, from October 12 to 16.

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