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‘I needed to win’: Emotional Filippo Ganna after Giro d’Italia time trial win

CyclingMay 19, 14:23
After enduring a nerve-wracking two-hour wait in the scorching heat, Filippo Ganna of Ineos Grenadiers finally breathed a sigh of relief.
The Italian cyclist watched as Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) crossed the finish line 29 seconds slower than his time, securing Ganna's victory in stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia.
This victory was particularly sweet for Ganna, coming just a week after Pogačar had denied him a win in the first Giro time trial (TT), an event Ganna had previously dominated.
The immediate reaction of relief and emotional release, rather than sheer excitement, highlighted the tension and anticipation that had built up over the course of the race.
Throughout the long wait, Ganna found support in his friend and track teammate, Jonathan Milan of Lidl-Trek, who has already claimed three stage wins in this race. Despite Milan's success, Ganna felt that his own victory came with a much higher level of stress.
“Before Pogačar finished, I was there with Jonathan Milan in the tent and we were joking. I said to him that his efforts are usually 70, 75 seconds long, and he knows if he wins or loses, while I have to wait for two hours until the last one crosses the finish line, you don't know if you make it or not,” Ganna explained after the race.
This win marked Ganna’s first triumph of the year, his last victory being the stage 10 TT at the Vuelta a España the previous year. Reflecting on his journey, Ganna emphasized the hard work and meticulous preparation that went into this victory.
“Behind today's victory, there's a huge amount of work,” he said. “You know that sometimes you can have some difficult times, and small things and small details make the difference. We worked hard, we were in the wind tunnel to get a better position on the bike. I think that my time trial in Perugia wasn't negative, I was going very strong in the flat part, but today the route was better for me.”
Ganna had been cautious about his chances, consistently acknowledging Pogačar as a formidable competitor. His strategy paid off, though, as the nervous wait ultimately ended in victory, a testament to his resilience and determination.
“I struggled a bit because Pogačar was very close, he was in front of me at the first intermediate time check, but I have to also thank him, because he gives me a great motivation – I needed to win,” Ganna said. “Sometimes people think it's easy, no? When Ganna starts the time trial, he will win, but it's not easy. Winning gives a real motivation.”
As the initial relief and emotion subsided, Ganna reflected on the significance of the victory, both personally and for his team. It was a day of triumph for Ineos Grenadiers, with three riders finishing in the top four and Geraint Thomas minimizing his losses to Pogačar.
“In the end I was caught by emotions because we're in Italy and it makes the moment very intense, especially here close to Lake Garda and the Montichiari velodrome which is a second home for me,” Ganna said. “It's nice to get my sixth time trial win at the Giro and also for the GC we've done well as a team today. Tomorrow will be a very intensive stage and we'll fight during the whole last week.”
Filippo Ganna’s victory in stage 14 not only highlighted his personal achievements but also underscored the strength and strategy of the Ineos Grenadiers team as they move forward in the Giro d’Italia.
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