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Giro d'Italia Stage 1: Filippo Ganna takes the maglia rosa (+ video)

A good opening day for Ineos Grenadiers with Geraint Thomas also taking time from overall rivals

111 years after Luigi Ganna won the first Giro d’Italia, a rider sharing his surname, Filippo Ganna, has become the first rider in this year’s race to pull on the maglia rosa of overall leader.

The Italian, who won the individual time trial at the world championships in Imola the week before last, once again showed that right now he is the best rider in the world against the clock.

His time of 15 minutes 24 seconds put him 22 seconds ahead of his nearest challenger, Joao Almeida of Deceuninck-Quick Step.

Ganna’s triumph in Imola put him alongside Chris Boardman as the only rider to have won the rainbow jersey in the individual pursuit on the track and in the individual time trial on the road in the same reason.

Now, they share the distinction of not only winning those two world titles in the same year, but also leading a Grand Tour in the same season – Boardman taking the first yellow jersey of the 1994 Tour de France after winning the prologue.

Unlike his namesake who won the first edition of the Giro d’Italia, Ganna will not ride into Milan in triumph at the conclusion of the race.

But following today’s 15.1km, downhill time trial from Monreale into Palermo, his Ineos Grenadiers team-mate Geraint Thomas picked up time on all of his rivals for the overall.

The Welshman finished 23 seconds behind Ganna but 26 seconds ahead of Mitchelton-Scott’s Simon  Yates, with Trek-Segafredo’s Vincenzo Nibali a further 43 seconds back.

Already, one contender for the overall victory, Miguel Angel Lopez of Astana, is out of the race, the Colombian crashing out and taken to hospital in an ambulance.#

Reaction

Flilippo Ganna, first leader of the 2020 Giro d'Italia

This is only pride for myself, for the nation and for Italian cycling. My main concern was to ride clean. I’ve seen some riders had problems.

I’ve won four World Championships on the track, one in time trialling and today this wonderful jersey. I hope to not finish my career here and there is more to come. We will now work to help our captain Geraint Thomas.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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