Filippo Ganna powers to victory in Tour de la Provence prologue time trial

The Italian showed his dominance against the clock to take the leader’s jersey

Filippo Ganna at Tour de la Provence 2022.
(Image credit: Luc Claessen/Getty Images)

Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) continued his 100 per cent record in time trials this year with a thunderous display in the prologue at the Tour de la Provence.

The world champion built on his win in the final stage of Étoile de Bessèges last week, bettering his team-mate Ethan Hayter by 12 seconds to take the race lead.

With this victory, the Ineos Grenadiers rider repeated the success of his last appearance at the race in 2019, when he took his first pro win in the opening time trial in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.

How it happened

The 7.1km circuit along the northern edge of the Étang de Berre lagoon was one that would pose few technical obstacles for the riders. The route was organised as a simple out-and-back with just 28m total elevation on smooth, straight roads.

The first rider to roll down the ramp was Kevin Besson (Nice Métropole Côte d'Azur) who had barely crossed the line before his minute man, Israel-Premier Tech’s Patrick Bevin, took the lead of the race. Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama FDJ) then bettered the New Zealander’s time and spent an extended spell in the hot seat.

Since its creation in 2016, the hilly parcours of the Tour de la Provence has typically suited the climbers. Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic), who won the 2020 edition of the race, rode aggressively in his effort. The Colombian clocked an impressive time of 8-35, showing himself determined not to concede valuable seconds that could later damage his bid for the general classification.

Defending champion Iván Sosa (Movistar) was not in such strong form. Sosa lost 34 seconds to his compatriot, a significant gap to have to make up when the race heads to the mountains at the weekend.

Amongst the GC favourites, Ineos Grenadiers rider Ethan Hayter looked the most assured on the course. The British time trial champion glided through the prologue circuit, controlled in his positioning, to set a new time to beat of 8-16.

Then along came Ganna. With a grin and a wave to the cameras, the 25-year-old thundered down the start ramp and through the first right-hand turn. The world champion appeared effortless as he powered round the circuit to give another signature time trial performance.

A little over eight minutes after setting off, Ganna crossed the finish line with a blistering average speed of 52.8km/h.

The Italian will wear the Mondrian-inspired leader’s jersey on Stage 1 of the four-day race which goes from Istres to Les-Saintes-Maries-de-La-Mer on Friday. 

Results

Tour de la Provence 2022, prologue ITT: Berre l’Étang to Berre l’Étang (7.1km)

1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers, in 8-04
2. Ethan Hayter (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 12s
3. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ, at 13s
4. Samuele Battistella (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan, at 14s
5. Pierre Latour (Fra) Total Energies, at 15s
6. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, at 17s
7. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Total Energies, at 17s
8. Mathias Norsgaard Jorgensen (Den) Movistar, at 18s
9. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, at 18s
10. Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, at 19s

General classification after prologue

1. Filippo Ganna (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers, in 8-04
2. Ethan Hayter (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 12s
3. Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ, at 13s
4. Samuele Battistella (Ita) Astana Qazaqstan, at 14s
5. Pierre Latour (Fra) Total Energies, at 15s
6. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, at 17s
7. Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Total Energies, at 17s
8. Mathias Norsgaard Jorgensen (Den) Movistar, at 18s
9. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, at 18s
10. Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl, at 19s

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