Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) has returned to training but has still to decide his 2022 goals, admitting he is tempted by the time trial stages at both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, with a spring Classics campaign, defence of his world time trial title and even a late-summer Hour Record attempt at sea level in Manchester all on the cards.
Ganna ended his long 2021 season at the UCI Track World Championships in Roubaix in mid-October, again successfully switching from road to the boards to add the team pursuit world title to his gold medal in Tokyo at the Olympic Games.
Fatigue caught up with him in the individual pursuit qualifying round but he bounced back to win the bronze medal and end his nine-month season of road and track racing.
He quickly escaped to the Maldives for a holiday and then stopped off in Dubai to ride last weekend’s Giro d’Italia Criterium at the Expo 2020. He then returned to Italy for a final week off at home before clipping for a 37km ride on Saturday morning that he dubbed '#firstreactionshock' on social media.
“I really needed some time off,” Ganna told La Gazzetta dello Sport on Saturday.
“It was an intense year. We kicked it off in February and kept going until the track world championships; it was a long ride, with the Olympics the high point. We’d set ourselves the goal of winning and we did it.”
Ganna will gather with his Ineos Grenadiers teammates for a training camp in Spain in December where a final decision will be made on his major goals and race programme for 2022.
With opening time trials awarding the leader’s jerseys at both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, Ganna is tempted to again pile up his objectives.
“I’d like to ride both,” he said provocatively when asked to choose between the Giro and the Tour in 2022.
“But I’ve also got to remember that there’s the world championships (in Australia) to defend too, so we’ve got to be ready to make some tough choices. I’ll decide with the team, I trust the evaluations they’ll make.”
Going back to the track for the Hour Record
Ganna won the Under-23 version of Paris-Roubaix in 2016 but missed the cobbled Classics this year. He wants to go back in 2022 but knows he has some catching up to do.
“I’d like to ride the Classics but perhaps not all of them. I know there’d be a lot of work to do because as well as some luck, you also need to know the race routes and be used to the road. It’s not easy.
“Then there’s also Milan-San Remo, that wouldn't be bad,” Ganna added, perhaps teasing the Italian media after he was criticised by some reports for sacrificing his chances for Michal Kwiatkowski this year.
Ganna raced for 66 days in 2021, starting his season at the Etoile des Bessèges in France before riding the UAE Tour and Tirreno-Adriatico and a block of track work.
With a swap between disciplines still on his calendar, Ganna says an attempt at the Hour Record possible in the second half of the summer. Ganna had always said he wants to make his attempt at sea level even if it makes it harder to beat the distance of 55.089km set by Victor Campenaerts at the Aguascalientes Velodrome in Mexico.
“I’ll keep working on the track because it gives me that pedal stroke that is so important,” he said.
“We’re studying an attempt at the Hour Record. We’ve got to verify some new equipment because it won’t be a walk in the palk. We’ve got to study something in the wind tunnel. The only sure thing is that I won’t go to altitude to make an attempt. I think the team is thinking about Manchester.”
Ganna features on the cover of this month's ProCycling magazine. ProCycling magazine is available in all good newsagents and supermarkets now, or buy Procycling subscription.
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