Ganna Beats Evenepoel | Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 1

Lido di Camaiore – Italy – cycling – Filippo Ganna (ITA – INEOS Grenadiers) pictured during 57th Tirreno-Adriatico (2.UWT) a stage 1 ITT between Lido di Camaiore and Lido di Camaiore (13.9 – Photo: Luca Bettini/SCA/Cor Vos © 2022

In the opening time-trial of Tirreno-Adriatico, the world ITT champion Filippo Ganna started out as a second favourite behind Remco Evenepoel when betting odds were first released, off the back of his loss in the UAE Tour. The Italian proved again that he is close to unbeatable on his best form, beating his biggest threat, Remco Evenepoel, by 11 seconds in the 13.9 kilometre long and completely flat ITT.

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 1 profile by La Flamme Rouge

The ITT field of Tirreno-Adriatico actually was not strong compared to previous editions. Last year Ganna finished only 3rd in the Tirreno-Adriatico ITT, behind Wout Van Aert and Stefan Küng (both of whom are in Paris-Nice). For many years the race ended with an ITT in San Benedetto del Tronto, however now the organisers chose to start the race with a TT in Lido di Camaiore, where Wout van Aert beat Ewan in a sprint last year.

In his previous time-trial Ganna lost to Stefan Bissegger (who also is in Paris-Nice) in the 9 km long UAE Tour time-trial by seven seconds. His only big threat here was Remco Evenepoel. The third biggest favourite according to bookmakers was Edoardo Affini, whose chances to win were not anywhere close to Ganna’s or Evenepoel’s chances and were largely influenced by Affini’s strong time trial in the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia in 2021.

Filippo Ganna (ITA – INEOS Grenadiers) pictured during UAE Tour 2022 – 4th Edition – stage 3 from Ajman to Ajman (9176km) – Photo: Luca Bettini/RB/Cor Vos © 2022

The course was the opposite of the UAE Tour. Slower to the halfway intermediate check, around 50km/h average for the best, and 57km/h on the run-in to the finish. Ganna was flying and finished first, with an average speed of 54.57 km/h. Evenepoel lost to Ganna by 11 seconds, a close margin given that the course did not suit the Belgian as much as Ganna, given that it was completely flat. Earlier in the season Evenepoel destroyed everyone in Volta ao Algarve hilly time-trial, beating Küng by 58 seconds.

Remco Evenepoel (BEL – Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) pictured during 57th Tirreno-Adriatico (2.UWT) a stage 1 ITT between Lido di Camaiore and Lido di Camaiore (13.9 – Photo: Tommaso Pelagalli/SCA/Cor Vos © 2022

From the GC contenders, Pogačar performed well as always after his impressive Strade Bianche 50 kilometre solo win. The biggest surprise from the GC contenders was Miguel Angel Lopez, who finished 13th and beat Jonas Vingegaard by 11 seconds, with Vingegaard finishing only 27th. That is a bad performance for the Dane, considering he was 3rd in both Tour de France ITTs in 2021. We expected Vingegaard’s form to be good as he won Drome Classic against stacked competition just over one week ago.

Thymen Arensman backed up his 3rd place in Vuelta a Espana Stage 21 ITT last year and finished 6th today. According to his strava data, he pushed 455 watts for 15:45. That is 6,55 w/kg if we use his input weight, 69.5 kg. The heavier Alex Dowsett started early and finished 3 seconds ahead of Arensman and pushed practically the same power, despite being around 10 kilograms heavier than the Dutchman, evidence that aerodynamics and position are everything in a flat time trial like this.

How much other the GC favourites lost to Remco Evenepoel:

  • Pogačar +0:07
  • Arensman +0:17
  • Lopez +0:31
  • Geoghegan Hart +0:31
  • Soler +0:36
  • Carapaz +0:36
  • Porte +0:40
  • Vingegaard +0:42
  • Alaphilippe +0:47
  • Padun +0:51
  • Kelderman +0:52
  • Uran +0:52
  • Hindley +0:54
  • Mas +0:59
  • Ciccone +1:11
  • Landa +1:12
  • Bardet +1:19
  • Kuss +1:20
  • Buchmann +1:22

Stage 2 will be a harder, but shorter, version of Milano-Sanremo. The final hill is 4.1 km long and 3.9% steep, similar to the Poggio, but there are more hills before it compared to Milano-Sanremo. Almost every team brought a sprinter to Tirreno-Adriatico although some climb better than others. Movistar and Bike Exchange should be the ones to make the race harder to drop Ewan, Merlier, Demare, Nizzolo as they have Alex Aranburu and Michael Matthews respectively, both of whom can get over hills very well. The stage might be chaotic like a finish to Sanremo classic, but most likely it will be a bunch sprint with Lotto-Soudal and Quickstep experienced teams in controlling such stages for Ewan and Cavendish.

Tirreno-Adriatico Stage 2 profile by La Flamme Rouge