Filippo Ganna was one of the stars of the Giro d’Onore event on Tuesday night in Rome, as Italian cycling celebrated winning 97 different medals across the different cycling disciplines during a hugely successful 2021 season.
Ganna won a second world time trial title, the two time trials at the Giro d’Italia and anchored the Italian team pursuit squad as they won gold at the Tokyo Olympics, giving him plenty to celebrate.
Ganna often flew the flag for Italy as they dominated across a number of sports in 2021. With Vincenzo Nibali close to the end of his career, Ganna has emerged as the new face of Italian cycling to the wider public who perhaps only watch the Giro d’Italia.
There have been constant calls for Ganna to perhaps use his power to target a Grand Tour one day in his career but on Tuesday he flatly refuted suggestions that his time trial skills could help him transform into a Grand Tour contender like Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas did before him.
“Me targeting a Grand Tour? It's like getting Usain Bolt to run a marathon. Do you think that was ever possible?” he said when asked by La Gazzetta dello Sport during the Giro d’Onore celebrations.
“I’m not even thinking about it. I think it’s impossible that I can be competitive on the climbs with my muscle mass. I’m a realist and don’t dare to dream the impossible.”
Ganna is already focused on 2022 after a recent Ineos Grenadiers training camp in Mallorca, even if he has still to confirm if he will return to the Giro d’Italia for a third year or target the opening time trial of the Tour de France in Copenhagen.
He will still occasionally train on the track but is unlikely to ride the track world championships, instead focusing on the spring Classics, a Grand Tour, the Hour Record at sea level and the end of season time trial World Championships in Australia.
“I’m going to ease up with my track racing for a while to focus on road racing but Paris 2024 remains a major goal. My teammates and I will have to be ready.”
Ganna’s 2021 season was intense, varied and successful. 2022 will include more road racing but he and Ineos Grenadiers face some tough choices. Ganna will ride the Classics after a two-year absence and then perhaps
“The yellow jersey is something I’ve always dreamed about. I’d love to win it and wear it but it won’t be easy because the Tour is tough and the time trial is on the very first stage,” he explained to Tuttobiciweb, knowing he will also have to secure a place in Ineos Grenadiers Tour squad that is likely to include Egan Bernal and Geraint Thomas as they target overall victory.
“It's too early to make any decisions. I’m going to think about the Classics first and then we’ll see.
“Even for Milan-San Remo, I’ll have to fight for a place in a team packed with leaders. Paris-Roubaix is another goal but you need a lot of luck, what happened to Gianni Moscon showed that so cruelly.”
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