Philip II, King of Belgium: Ganna mocked the hosts and confirmed himself as world time trial champion
Filippo Ganna confirmed himself as world champion of time trial cycling in the elite category. On the 43.3 kilometers that led from Knokke-Heist, on the North Sea, to the center of Bruges, the Verbanese grenadier confirmed that on traditional routes, and over a reasonable distance, he is practically unbeatable. Behind him, exactly like in Imola a year ago but separated, this time, by just five seconds, the host Wout Van Aert, while the other Flemish, the 21-year-old Remco Evenpoel, for just two seconds managed to keep the third place after the return of the Danish Kasper Asgren, winner this year of the Tour of Flanders. Fifth place went to the Swiss Stefan Kueng who 10 days ago in Trento had mocked Ganna in the much shorter test valid for the European championship.
Today’s time trial was not played on the circuit, as happened at the Olympic Games and in the last editions of the world championships, but on a linear path that allowed the consecutive start of the runners, at a close distance from each other. An aspect that limited any disparities in the conditions encountered by cyclists in the race. Evenepoel, who started among the first, posted an exceptional 48’31 ”with which he dug an abyss in the standings on the opponents who reached the finish line. Only the big favorites, the last four to start (Asgren, Kung, Van Aert and Ganna), managed to do better than the enfant prodige of world cycling at the first split time, after 12 kilometers of running, where Van Aert passed first with seven seconds of margin on Ganna.
The goodness of Remco’s performance was further confirmed by the passes to the second detection in which both Asgren and Kung overtook, climbing to third place. Van Aert, for his part, was able to confirm the primacy seeing, however, his advantage over Ganna practically zero: only 84 cents, in fact, divided the two 10 kilometers from the finish. The inertia in favor of the Italian rider, however, was easily noticeable even with the naked eye. While Van Aert’s action tended to disjoin with ever-increasing shoulder swings, the 25-year-old from Verbania, a newcomer Jacques Anquetil, remained impeccably positioned on the bicycle.
On the impressive finish line in the heart of the city of canals, Filippo Ganna confirmed himself as world time trial champion. Never more than today, the Olympian of the team pursuit has made it clear how crucial it is, in a test of just under an hour, the dosage of forces with respect to the length of the course. The hope now is that Italy can complete the double blow next Sunday in Leuven, also winning the elite online title that escapes us from Ballan’s triumph in Varese 13 years ago.