Filippo Ganna says Remco Evenepoel ‘had fantastic legs’ as he questions whether he can maintain lead in Giro d’Italia

The Italian time trial star keeps the pink jersey after stage three, but can he hold on for another day?

Filippo Ganna leads the Giro d'Italia
(Image credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Filippo Ganna said Remco Evenepoel “had fantastic legs” on stage three of the Giro d’Italia, as he questions how long he can hold onto the pink jersey.

Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) finished safely in the bunch after an unpredictable stage three, holding onto his race lead as Taco van der Hoorn rode to an unexpected breakaway victory.

But after surviving on some tough climbs, Ganna faces another demanding day in the saddle on stage four if he wants to keep his jersey, with another climbing day on the cards. 

Speaking after the finish of stage three, the reigning world TT champion said: "We have seen a lot of sprinters being dropped in the climbs, there were not a lot of riders in the main group at the end.

“I saw that Remco had really amazing legs on one of the last climbs. I turned to see him in the big ring on the front and I thought ‘wow amazing legs for him’.

“We’ll see tomorrow and take it day by day.”

“It will be hard for me to defend the maglia rosa tomorrow, but we will try to defend. We know we have two big leaders in the team.” 

Ganna is not expected to maintain the race lead deep into the race, but is instead holding the jersey before the GC contenders begin to move up the rankings in the mountains.  

Ineos Grenadiers are riding for their leaders Egan Bernal and Pavel Sivakov, who are both inside a minute of Ganna. 

Evenepoel, leading Deceuninck - Quick-Step, is an unknown quantity in his debut Grand Tour, having not raced since he crashed out of Il Lombardia last August.

>>> Five talking points from stage three of the Giro d’Italia 2021

The 21-year-old Belgian is among the pre-race favourites despite his lack of racing, having won every stage race he entered last season.

He now sits in third place overall, just 20 seconds off the race lead. 

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Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.