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Ganna training on track in quest for Paris-Roubaix form

SABLESURSARTHE FRANCE APRIL 07 Filippo Ganna of Italy and Team INEOS Grenadiers competes during the 68th Circuit Cycliste Sarthe Pays de la Loire 2022 Stage 3 a 1765km stage from Sabl sur Sarthe to Sabl sur Sarthe CircuitSarthe on April 07 2022 in SablesurSarthe France Photo by Dario BelingheriGetty Images
Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) is hoping some final speed work and intensity training on the track in Italy will give him the power and fitness to be a contender on the cobbles at Sunday’s Paris-Roubaix.    

While most of his rivals for the Hell of the North raced the Amstel Gold Race and will stay in northern Europe this week, Ganna has opted for an alternative approach, combining his track prowess with the needs of Paris-Roubaix, using the controlled conditions of the indoor track to replicate the huge efforts needed across the cobbles of Northern France.   

The Ineos Grenadiers racer won the Under 23 edition of Paris-Roubaix in 2016 and is a multiple track world champion. Like his role model Francesco Moser, who won Paris-Roubaix in 1978,1979 and 1980, Ganna is keen to prove he is more than a track pursuiter and time trialist but uses track training to boost his form for road racing.    

Ganna is spending time on the Montichiari track near Brescia training with Italian national track coach Marco Villa. 

“Pippo will train on a points race bike, with a position very similar to his road position,” Villa told La Gazzetta dello Sport at the weekend. 

“He’ll use a fixed gear of 60x16, which is similar to 54x13 or 54x14 which he’ll use on the cobbles. We’ll do two sessions of 20 minutes which equals four or five cobbled sectors. 

“Each sector equals eight or nine laps of the track, about two kilometres. The work starts behind the derny acting like being in the peloton. We then up the speed to lift Ganna to the power and cadence needed for the pave. That’s about 60-65kmh, with a cadence of 95-96 pedal strokes a minute and between 800-1000 watts. He does that for two minutes, about the equivalent of a sector of pave. He recovers behind the derny for about five kilometres and then does it again.      

Ganna raced last week’s Circuit de la Sarthe stage race in France after missing the E3 Saxo Bank Classic and Gent-Wevelgem due to illness. He was already suffering with a problem after Tirreno-Adriatico but rode Milan-San Remo in a support role.     

The Italian had hoped to ride a full cobbled Classics campaign this spring. However the illness forced him to change his plans and hope for a final peak for Paris-Roubaix.        

He will travel to northern France late this week, having already done a reconnocance ride of the key sectors of the race and made final tyre selections for the race with Ineos Grenadiers directeur sportif Dario Cioni. According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Ganna has opted for 30mm tubeless tyres, inflated to five atmospheres.  

Ganna will be part of a strong Ineos Grenadiers line-up for Paris-Roubaix that includes Amstel Gold Race winner Michał Kwiatkowski, road captain Luke Rowe, Dylan van Baarle, young British rider Ben Turner, Elia Viviani Kim Heiduk and Magnus Sheffield.  

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Stephen Farrand

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.