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Ganna sets new individual pursuit world record

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Filippo Ganna has broken the individual pursuit world record twice in one day at the Track World Cup in Minsk. The Italian clocked a time of 4:04.252 in qualifying on Sunday morning to beat the mark set by Ashton Lambie (USA) in September, before then lowering his own mark to 4:02.647 in the final.

Ganna caught his opponent John Archibald (Great Britain) a little over three kilometres into the final and then continued at his blistering pace to break his own record by over a second. The Italian’s average speed for the 4,000m was some 59.345kph.

Lambie’s previous best of 4:05.423 was set at an altitude of more than 2,500m at the Pan-American Championships in Cochabamba, Bolivia. Ganna is the first rider to break the world record at sea level since Jack Bobridge clocked 4:10.534 in Sydney in 2011 to break Chris Boardman’s 16-year-old mark.

Ganna already held the world’s best time at sea level since this year’s Track World Championships in Pruszków, where he set a mark of 4:07.456 in qualifying. The three-time world champion is the first Italian rider to hold the pursuit record since Andrea Colinelli, who was the first man to drop beneath 4:20 at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996.

Ganna had averaged 58.956kph during his record-setting ride in the qualifying round in Minsk on Sunday morning, and he then beat Archibald in the final on Sunday afternoon. The Briton had set a time of 4:09.843 to qualify for the final.

Lambie, the previous world record holder, took the bronze medal in Minsk on Sunday, beating Stefan Bissegger (Switzerland) with a time of 4:11.215.

On Saturday, Ganna led Italy’s team pursuit quartet to third place in a competition won by France as they continue their bid to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The individual pursuit ceased to be an Olympic event after the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Ganna enjoyed a solid road campaign in his first year at Team Ineos. The 23-year-old took bronze in the time trial at the World Championships in Yorkshire and claimed three victories against the watch in 2019, winning the Italian time trial title and stages at Tour La Provence and the BinckBank Tour.