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Ganna wins Giro d’Italia stage 14 to upstage Pogacar and delight home fans
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Ganna wins Giro d’Italia stage 14 to upstage Pogacar and delight home fans

Filippo Ganna of Ineos Grenadiers gained revenge on Tadej Pogacar, the race leader, by winning stage 14 of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday, an individual time trial, but the Slovenian extended his overall race lead by more than a minute.

Ganna, a time-trial specialist, was out early and set a time of 35min 02sec, but the Italian had to wait more than two hours before celebrating as Pogacar, the last rider to set off, came in 29 seconds slower to take second place, with Thymen Arensman in third.

“Today I suffered a lot,” Ganna said after his win. “I was just speaking with Jonathan Milan. For him it’s 70 seconds in the sprint and then you know immediately if you win or not. Today I had to wait two hours.”

Pogacar won stage seven, the previous time trial, but the predominantly flat course on the 31.2km route from Castiglione delle Stiviere to Desenzano del Garda was expected to favour the specialists, and so it proved.

Ganna powered through the course at an average speed of 53.4 km/h but then watched anxiously as Pogacar went through the first intermediate check four seconds faster, and he must have thought his wait for another Giro stage win would continue.

The Italian had six stage wins under his belt, with five of them coming in time trials, but his last stage win was in 2021. He could finally afford himself a smile when it became clear that Pogacar was losing time and his long wait was over.

“In the end, a little bit blocked with emotions because to win in Italy after a lot of time without a win is a really intense moment,” Ganna said. Pogacar, racing for UAE Team Emirates, strengthened his grip on the leader’s maglia rosa, or pink jersey, having started the day t2min 40sec ahead of Daniel Felipe Martínez (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Geraint Thomas, Ganna’s teammate and last year’s Giro runner-up, came in fourth on the stage and moved into second overall, a full three minutes and 41sec behind Pogacar, with Martínez a further 15sec adrift.

“It’s nice to be here and to also see G [Thomas] arrive really well for the GC. We keep going for more seconds,” Ganna said. “Tomorrow it’s a really intense day and we need to fight with the heart and with the head.”

The race heads into the mountains for a 222km ride from Manerba del Garda to Livigno for Sunday’s stage 15, the longest stage of this year’s Giro.

Source: theguardian.com