Italian Ganna breaks one-hour cycling world record


Filippo Ganna, Italian pilot of the Ineos Grenadiers

Valentin Flauraud

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Italian Filippo Ganna made up for a disappointing season so far by setting a new one-hour track world record of 56.792km at the Grenchen velodrome in Switzerland on Saturday.

Olympic team pursuit champion Ganna bettered the surprise mark set by Briton Daniel Bigham, performance engineer for his Ineos Grenadiers team, of 55.548km on the same track last August.

“It’s unbelievable, fantastic. I achieved my goal,” said a delighted Ganna.

“I thank my team and everyone who contributed to this record.”

Starting out cautiously, the two-time world time trial champion gradually increased his pedaling cadence to dislodge 31-year-old Bigham, who had attempted the world record to collect data for Ganna’s quest.

Ganna, 26, also erased Briton Chris Boardman’s mark of 56.375km from 1996. This distance had been canceled by the International Cycling Union after an equipment rule change.

“Congratulations Filippo Ganna, haven’t watched one in a quarter of a century, glad I listened, a beautiful thing to see,” Boardman, 54, wrote on Twitter.

The first Italian to set the hour record since Francesco Moser in 1984, Ganna has established himself in recent years as one of the most successful riders of his generation with world time trial titles in 2020 and 2021 , four gold medals in the individual pursuit at the Worlds. and Tokyo’s Olympic victory in the team pursuit.

On Saturday, Ganna started relatively calmly, trailing Bigham’s mark by almost four seconds.

But the Italian, riding a bike created by the Pinarello brand with a 3D printed frame to increase aerodynamic performance, gradually overtook Bigham’s mark after 20 minutes.

Italian runner Filippo Ganna broke the one-hour record at the Grenchen velodrome in northern Switzerland

Valentin Flauraud

In front of a cheering crowd, the slender runner from Piedmont raised his arms in the air as he crossed the line.

“The hardest threshold happened in the last five minutes. I didn’t have enough energy to cover the 57 kilometres. But that’s okay,” Ganna said.

“Next time maybe I’ll try another part of the season when I have fresher legs and we can go even higher, but now we’ll think about recovery.”

The record highlighted a disappointing campaign so far with a seventh place in the world road time trial in Australia, a loss to the Europeans, with his best time trial a fourth place at the Tour de France.

Ganna then heads to the track world championships outside Paris from October 12-16.

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