Double time trial world champion Filippo Ganna said he will have to do “the biggest effort of my life” if he is to break the UCI World Hour Record on Saturday evening.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the event, the 26-year-old said he is hoping to clock between 16 and 15.8-second laps on the velodrome in Grenchen, Switzerland.
The latter would see him achieve a distance of around 57km, almost 1,500m further than the current benchmark set by his aerodynamicist Dan Bigham.
“We tried the pacing before the Worlds with a more conservative pace,” the Italian said. “We’ll see [if] I can do a little bit more hard, more strong than they think.”
On Thursday, Belgian publication Het Nieuwsblad reported that Ganna had done a 35-minute trial run in Montichiari, in which he averaged over 56km/h.
When asked about the trial, Ganna said: “Tomorrow is 60 minutes, it changes a little bit. Maybe at 35 minutes tomorrow I’ll say it’s really easy, at 36 I want to die. We will see tomorrow.”
“Realistic, [my hope] is to do one metre more than Dan,” the Italian joked. “The dream is to do the record of the record.”
"Tomorrow I need to do the biggest effort of my life and we will see if [my condition] is fine or not."
Ganna will take to the track centre on a custom, 3D-printed Pinarello Bolide, complete with the colours of his national flag. “It’s more heavy than a normal bike, but it’s faster,” Ganna said. “Maybe Pinarello has put inside a lot of love and [that’s why] it’s heavy.
“The first three or four laps, you don’t feel super fast. But after five minutes she flies on the track,” he added.
Ganna also gave details of his set-up, revealing the gear ratio he’s likely to run on the day. “Today and Monday I tried with a 65 [tooth chainring] and I have the idea to use the 66,” he said, “but I prefer to maybe stay a little bit more with the high cadence.
“In the track, normally we stay around 170, 120rpm. Tomorrow it’s more close to a road race, around 96rpm.”
The Italian will run a 14T cog at the rear.
In order to claim the record, Ganna will have to go further than the 55.548km set by Bigham on the same velodrome in August. Even if he does do it, he explained, it still won’t trump the gold medal he won in the team pursuit in the Olympics last year.
“The Olympics for me is I think the most important event I do,” he said. “One team effort with the guys and winning together is more important than winning alone. It’s like life. All together we can do the difference.”
Ganna's UCI World Hour Record attempt will begin at 19:00 BST (20:00 CET) on 8 October.
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