BRUGES: Filippo Ganna broke the hearts of the Belgians at the road cycling world championships in Flanders by retaining his individual time trial title by beating local favorite Wout van Aert on Sunday.
On the opening day of the weeklong race, the Italian lagged behind Van Aert at the two intermediate controls, but he managed his effort better on the 43 km crepe course for a time of 47 minutes 47 seconds.
Van Aert finished 5.37 seconds behind fellow Belgian Remco Evenepoel, clinching the bronze medal 43.34 seconds off pace.
The flat course taking the competitors through cycling-mad Flanders presented no technical difficulties and suited Ganna, a pure time trial specialist, perfectly.
Ganna arrived in Bruges following the Tokyo Olympics where he missed out on time trial glory but led Italy to gold in the team pursuit.
Four-time world time trial champion Tony Martin of Germany, who announced he would retire after the championships, was sixth.
Van Aert, a versatile competitor, is also aiming for road racing and is among the main contenders for the gold medal in next Sunday’s race.
The women’s time trial is scheduled for Monday.
Posted in Dawn, September 20, 2021