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

(Image credit: Getty Images)

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).

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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.

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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.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.