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Ganna targets both team pursuit and time trial at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Filippo Ganna (Team Ineos)
Filippo Ganna holds the individual pursuit world record
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Filippo Ganna hopes to target both the team pursuit and the individual time trial at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, while the Italian has also stated his ambition to break four minutes for the individual pursuit.

Earlier this month, Ganna broke the individual pursuit world record twice in one day at the Minsk World Cup, lowering the mark to 4:02.647. The feat came just weeks after he had taken bronze in the individual time trial at the World Championships in Yorkshire, and the Ineos rider wants to combine road and track in Tokyo next summer.

"The team has left me carte blanche and I’m not choosing one or the other: I want them both," Ganna told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I'm going to Tokyo to get a medal in both races. You need to be a bit ambitious.

"In the team pursuit, there are two teams in front of us, Denmark and Australia. Maybe three, with Great Britain. But that’s not a given. We were strong at the Worlds too but then we were beaten by bad luck. It doesn't take much. The time trial route is hard, but the one in Yorkshire was too. I'm not choosing, and I'm convinced I can do it."

Ganna is entering his second season at Team Ineos after joining the squad from UAE Team Emirates. As well as winning a third individual pursuit world title on the track, the 23-year-old won three time trials on the road, at the Tour de La Provence, the BinckBank Tour and the Italian Championships.

He told La Gazzetta dello Sport that the only certainty on his programme for now is an Ineos training camp in Mallorca from December 10-20, though he suggested that his road campaign is likely to start at the Vuelta a la Comunitat Valenciana in February, followed by the Tour de La Provence. After riding the Track World Championships in Berlin, Ganna could ride Tirreno-Adriatico and – possibly – Paris-Roubaix.

It remains to be seen if Ganna will make his Grand Tour debut in 2020, though he has expressed a preference for the Giro d'Italia, which features three individual time trials, including a short, opening test in Budapest. The Tokyo Olympics in early July will shape his season.

"The Tour is too close to the Olympics and doesn't seem, at least to me, the ideal preparation. The Vuelta is too far off, who knows what my condition will be," Ganna said. 

"I have this idea in my head: Tracks Worlds inside four minutes [for the individual pursuit – Ed.], Giro – which has three time trials – and Olympics, both in the team pursuit and the time trial."

Ganna played down the prospect of switching his attention to developing as a stage race rider following the Tokyo Olympics, suggesting that he would have to lose more than 5kg if he were to make any impact over three weeks.

"I'd have to change my physique completely," he said. "When I'm in form, I struggle to get below 80kg, so I'd have to put out unthinkable watts. For the Grand Tours, I'd have to drop below 75kg. Not at all easy."