Filippo Ganna says he’s ‘not a robot’ after losing first time trial in over a year

The Italian finished third behind both Wout van Aert and European champion Stefan Küng in Tirreno-Adriatico TT

Filippo Ganna says that he is “human, not a robot” after losing his first time trial in over a year on the final stage of Tirreno-Adriatico 2021

Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) was expected to add yet another win to his palmarès on stage seven in San Benedetto del Tronto and continue his unbeaten run in time trials, but instead the best the world time trial champion could manage was third on the day.

The big Italian holds the record for the fastest time on the course after blitzing around in perfect conditions in late summer of 2020, with a time of 10-42 before he went on to win the world title, four Giro d’Italia stages including three ITTs, and the time trial at this year’s UAE Tour.

This year Ganna was almost a minute behind his time from last year with an 11-17, finishing 11 seconds behind Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) and four behind Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ).

>>> ‘Not a bad start to the experiment’ – Wout van Aert wants to race for overall wins again after Tirreno-Adriatico podium

Speaking after the race Ganna said: “I showed that I’m human, not a robot, and that I can lose the race. My numbers were good, but every day is different.”

“I think the wind was the same for everyone I immediately felt my legs weren’t great. I managed to pull back something but now we can only think to the next chance.

“I’m happier to work hard for the team for a week than win another time trial. The guys gave 100 per cent, so why should we be disappointed. We’ll have more chances to fight back. I’m not sad. Every race is different. There is always someone who can be stronger.”

The last time that Ganna was beaten in a time trial was in Argentina at the Vuelta a San Juan by Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) in early 2020, with the Italian going on to dominate every time trial he’s ridden.

But, this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico has been particularly hard with almost eight minutes between first and tenth, with tough weather conditions and terrain for the riders to contend with.

>>> E3 Saxo Bank Classic will use robots to make sure fans are Covid-19 safe

Ganna averaged a huge 585 watts and maxed out on 795 watts but only averaged 52.8km/h compared to the eventual winner of the stage Van Aert, who averaged 85 watts less and only maxed out at 560 watts, but averaged 53.2km/h.

The 24-year-old Ganna now heads to the Classics and will be supporting his leaders at Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix before the Tour of the Alps and a return to the Giro d’Italia with plenty space to add more races.