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Sunday, October 9, 2022

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Filippo Ganna sets new World Hour Record

Ganna's Team INEOS Grenadiers sent me this report:

INEOS Grenadier Filippo Ganna has today set a new UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot at the Tissot Velodrome in Grenchen, Switzerland - covering a distance of 56.792 kilometres.

The 26-year-old Italian smashed the record and covered 1.244 kilometres more than fellow INEOS Grenadier, Dan Bigham, who set a new record of 55.548 kilometres less than 2 months ago. 

Filippo Ganna sets off. James Startt photo

The double world time trial champion who signed a four-year extension with the team earlier this year, has been building to the record attempt for over a year while also riding competitively for the team and Italy.

Ganna said: “To arrive at this amazing goal is fantastic for me, and all the INEOS Grenadiers staff who worked for a long time to arrive at this result.

“This morning I was thinking about just trying to break the record by one metre, but in the end I said why not try to do a new [unified record]. This result is amazing. 56.792 kilometres is not bad!

“Next time maybe I’ll try in another part of the season with fresher legs and we can go higher again. This result is amazing. Now I’m thinking about recovery and trying to celebrate together with everyone here.”

The previous Hour Record holder, Brit Dan Bigham, joined the INEOS Grenadiers as a Performance Engineer ahead of the 2022 season and has been working with the team and its partners to prepare for his own attempt earlier this year as well as Ganna’s.

Dan Bigham said: “A massive kudos to Filippo for that historic ride. I know the commitment, determination and work that’s needed to put in a performance like that. It's fantastic that this ambitious project came together on the night. Having my record beaten by Filippo was always part of the plan and it's great to have such a deserving teammate as the new record holder.”

Rod Ellingworth, Deputy Team Principal said: “This is a much deserved honour for Filippo. It is a huge undertaking but he put in a massive effort and smashed it, and to have beaten Chris Boardman’s benchmark time is something very special to us as well, it was something we all secretly hoped to achieve, which reaffirms just how great an athlete Filippo is. To have two INEOS Grenadiers break the record this year is incredible and is down to the dedication of Filippo, Dan, the wider team and our partners.

“As INEOS Grenadiers, we are always looking to push forward, go faster, ride further and be better. Tonight’s achievement is the epitome of that attitude and approach. The UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot is a prestigious event that not only tests the rider but also the technology, equipment and innovation from the team and our partners including Pinarello, Bioracer and Kask. This is a huge achievement for everyone involved and we are incredibly proud.”

Hour Record Timed By Tissot record holders:
Filippo Ganna (IT) - 56.792 kilometres, 8th October 2022
Dan Bigham (GB) - 55.548 kilometres, 19th August 2022
Victor Campenaerts (BE) -  55.089 kilometres, 16th April 2019
Bradley Wiggins (GB) - 54.526 kilometres, 7th June 2015

Il Lombardia team reports

We posted the report from winner Tadej Pogacar's UAE Tam Emirates with the results.

Here's the report from third-place Mikel landa's Team Bahrain Victorious:

Bahrain Victorious put on an impressive display at the last Monument of the season, as Mikel Landa took 3rd place on Il Lombardia.

Mikel Landa

Mikel Landa finishes third. Sirotti photo.

The “Classic of the Falling Leaves” started from Bergamo and finished along Como lake after 253km, featuring some changes to the course but maintaining its characteristics of a race that suits the climbers. The initial hilly part in the Prealps around the town of Bergamo saw the attempt of a 10-man breakaway always kept under control by the peloton, particularly by the team of the favourite riders of the day. The attackers were caught approaching one of the iconic climb of the day, the Madonna del Ghisallo (with gradients up to 14%), which proved to be very selective.

The remaining riders at the front, among which our leader Mikel Landa, began their battle on the decisive part of the day, the final 30km circuit, to face two ascents of San Fermo della Battaglia and the Civiglio. There, the defending champion Tadej Pogacar (UAE) attacked with 19km to go, with only Eric Mas (Movistar) and Mikel Landa able to keep up with him. The Basque rider managed to retrieve a couple of times once he was dropped by the rivals, until the last ascent of San Fermo, where he couldn’t close the gap before the summit, leaving the duo contending the victory of the 116th Il Lombardia, with Pocagar outsprinting Mas. Landa, at his 11th appearance at this Monument, finally can celebrate a podium result, crossing the finish line in 3rd:

“I’m very happy. I really love this race. It’s probably my favourite one, but I never arrived in the best shape, while this time, I was feeling well and focused. I could enjoy this day. There was one moment that I thought that maybe I could win, as if they were looking at each other, maybe I could surprise them, but on the climbs, I was less strong than them to do that. They were among the favourites, and they proved why they were the strongest. It was a hard day, the pace has always been high, and it was difficult to find the right feeling, but I knew my shape was perfect and that I had just to follow my pace. It was important to end the season with this monumental podium”.

Bahrain Victorious Sports Director Alberto Volpi comments: “The target was the podium, so mission accomplished. It’s nice to end the season with this result. I’m satisfied with the teamwork and very happy for Mikel, as he deserved this podium. It’s good for the team and for him ahead of the off-season.

It unfolds as traditionally it happens with IL Lombardia. It’s not easy to keep the focus on this important race at the end of the season, but the guys were super good today with such strong competitors.

There was the traditional day’s breakaway and the selection made on Ghisallo, then the challenging final circuit, which was the toughest in the past. The Civiglio was the other key moment of the race. Mikel was attentive on this climb. We got the podium there. He didn’t surrender when the leading duo dropped him. He kept focused and managed to keep the third place”.

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Here's the Il Lombardia report from fourth-place Sergio Higuita's Team Bora-hansgrohe:

The fifth and final Monument of the season concluded this year's WorldTour calendar. 253 km and over 4,500 meters of elevation gain were on the program in today's race of the falling leaves. After the peloton left Bergamo, the first part of the race traversed challenging terrain before the course flattened out slightly. The last 70 km and the legendary climb up to the Madonna del Ghisallo marked the beginning of the decisive phase of the race before the finish line was reached on the shores of Como.

The start of the race was marked by numerous attacks until a group of ten broke away and kept the peloton at bay until the foot of the Ghisallo climb. On the ascent, UAE Emirates and Jumbo-Visma thinned out the peloton before BORA-hansgrohe took control of the reduced field of about 40 riders with 40km remaining.

Late in the race. The peloton climbs San Fermo Della Battaglia.

On the Civiglio, T. Pogačar launched a decisive attack and was quickly followed by Mas and Landa. A 10-man chase group including Sergio Higuita tried in vain to close the gap on the trio. The Colombian champion then broke away from the group together with C. Rodriguez, but in the end wasn't able to catch up. With T. Pogačar taking the win, Sergio prevailed in the sprint for 4th place and thereby ends his season with another solid result.

"It was a tough and pretty fast day, with some of the best riders in the world. I had several teammates still up front when the field began to thin out and we rode confidently. When I was in the small chasing group behind Pogacar, Mas and Landa, I felt increasingly better, and so I decided to break free from the chase group with Rodriguez. We tried to bridge the gap to Landa, and we seemed to be making good progress, but in the end it just wasn't possible. However, I have to say that I'm pretty pleased with fourth place in this Monument. This is really one of the most beautiful races on the calendar, and hopefully over the next few years as I continue to develop as a rider I can improve on my fourth place and perhaps even take the win one day." - Sergio Higuita

"We started the race with the clear goal of finishing the last Monument of the season in the top-5 and, after the performance of the last few days, we hoped to be in contention for a podium, especially after our good result at Tre Valli Varesine. We had two leaders, Sergio Higuita and Aleks Vlasov, and the rest of the riders had the task of supporting them 100 percent. Chapeau to the team, as our plan worked well during the day. It is worth mentioning that after the key climb up to Madonna del Ghisallo, we were still in the race with six riders and could accordingly act united and put in a strong performance. In the finale, Sergio unfortunately did not have an optimal position on the Civiglio climb. Nevertheless, he managed to achieve our objective with his fourth place. We also have to say that, looking back at the race now, we are a little disappointed because more would have been possible. All in all, though, it was a very good end to our quite good season." - Christian Pömer, Sports Director

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Here's the report from Julian Alaphilippe's Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl:

Nine climbs, including a double ascent of the San Fermo della Battaglia, close to 5000 vertical meters, and 253 kilometers between Bergamo and Como – the menu of this year’s Il Lombardia was an appetizing one and made for some hard racing, especially in the last 70 kilometers.

Julian Alaphilippe picks up his bike before the race start. He finished 51st. Sirotti photo

Madonna del Ghisallo was where the pace changed at the front of the peloton, moments after the original breakaway was brought back having enjoyed a maximum advantage of just five minutes despite more than 120 kilometers off front. The bunch was gradually reduced with each climb, leaving only 20-odd riders in the main group, before Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) and Enric Mas (Movistar) pulled clear.

The duo arrived on the finishing stretch with a clear margin over the chasers, and the Slovenian took the win. Ilan Van Wilder came home with a group some two minutes behind and sprinted to 13th place, his best result in three Monument starts, and an impressive one, considering the Belgian arrived here after a long season that saw him play a big role in our Vuelta a España success.

“The team did quite well. Ilan, after a very hard Vuelta, was there, Mikkel and Mauri also proved they can ride well in this kind of races, so we can’t complain given everything. That five per cent we missed this season in some races we missed again here, but we are confident we will come back here and fight for victory one day with these young guys”, said Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl sports director Tom Steels.

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And here’s the report from Jonas Vingegaard’s Team Jumbo-Visma:

Jonas Vingegaard has finished in 16th place in the Tour of Lombardy. Given his recent performances, the Dane felt confident going into the season's last monument. Unfortunately, he lacked the strength to jump in when it mattered most.

Jonas Vingegaard at the rider presentation ceremony. Sirotti photo

The Team Jumbo-Visma riders did a lot of leading work for Vingegaard during the day. For the majority of the race, Koen Bouwman, Robert Gesink, and Chris Harper - who completed his final race wearing the team's jersey - rode at the head of the pack.

"The guys worked hard", Vingegaard said. "For that, I'm grateful to them. At the beginning of the race, I felt good. I was confident I would have a strong finish because the legs were strong. But in the end, I failed when it mattered most. It was a tough day. To be honest, I don't know if I would have been able to keep up with the best until the end if I hadn't blown myself up in the chase after that crucial moment."

Tadej Pogacar took off in a reduced peloton with twenty kilometres remaining. Only Mikel Landa and Enric Mas joined him in the jump. "I missed a few percent. I tried to catch up and give everything, but I blew myself up. I had the option of riding much more defensively to sprint for fifth place, but I chose to play all or nothing and go for the win. I can conclude that I simply wasn't strong enough to contend for victory today. At the end of a fantastic season, that is not a disaster. I was focused on winning this race. Unfortunately, it didn't pan out like that", Vingegaard said.

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