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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
We head into the weekend with half of the events at this years Road World Championships now done and dusted.
After Friday’s elite men’s individual time trial, the home country has its first gold medal so far at this year’s event. The Worlds action continues with the elite women’s road race on Saturday.
In other news, the Ineos Grenadiers announced four notable signings all at once on Friday, confirming that a recent Tour de France podium finisher is set to return to the organization next season after a few years spent a way.
And speaking of next season, the UCI has released the racing calendars for 2021. Of particular note is the absence of the Giro Rosa from the Women’s WorldTour calendar.
Read on for more, and enjoy the weekend …
| Ganna wins world time trial title
Filippo Ganna secured his first career world time trial title on Friday, delivering on his status as a pre-race favorite on a windy day at the UCI Road World Championships in Imola, Italy.
Ganna completed the 31.7-kilometer course in his home country in a time of 35:54 to secure a year of riding TTs in the rainbow jersey. Wout van Aert earned runner-up honors, 26 seconds back, while Stefan Küng rounded out the podium, 29 seconds behind Ganna.
Geraint Thomas finished fourth ahead of two-time winner Rohan Dennis in fifth.
“It’s a dream for me and I’m really happy. I give my personal thank you to the whole team of Italy and also for Ineos Grenadiers,” Ganna said. “I don’t have the words. I’ve won four rainbow jerseys on the track. This is my first in the time trial. I will celebrate with my family.”
The flat, out-and-back course saw a fast race in windy conditions. Max Walscheid and then Edoardo Affini were among the early riders to spend at least a while in the hot seat before Thomas hit the line nearly a minute faster to take over the provisional lead.
The time of the 2018 Tour de France champ withstood challenges from plenty of talented riders before van Aert finished 11 seconds faster after a fantastic second half of his ride. The Belgian would not last in the hot seat, however, as Ganna was speeding toward the finish on a good time, with the fastest mark through the intermediate check.
Küng arrived at the finish just three seconds slower than van Aert, and then Tom Dumoulin came in a little farther off the mark – losing some time after unclipping late to keep his balance through a corner – but Ganna hit the line 27 seconds faster than van Aert to take over the provisional lead.
After Ganna, only Dennis was left on the road. Although the defending champ was the second fastest rider at the intermediate check, he could not make up ground in the second half of his ride and hit the line 40 seconds down.
Ganna’s win marks Italy’s first ever title in the elite men’s time trial, and a first gold medal for Italy in either of the elite men’s events since Alessandro Ballan won the road race in 2008.
1 GANNA Filippo (Italy) 35:54
2 VAN AERT Wout (Belgium) 0:26
3 KÜNG Stefan (Switzerland) 0:29
4 THOMAS Geraint (Great Britain) 0:37
5 DENNIS Rohan (Australia) 0:39
6 ASGREEN Kasper (Denmark) 0:47
7 CAVAGNA Rémi (France) 0:48
8 CAMPENAERTS Victor (Belgium) 0:52
9 DOWSETT Alex (Great Britain) 1:06
10 DUMOULIN Tom (Netherlands) 1:14
| Ineos Grenadiers sign Porte, Pidcock, De Plus, and Martínez
The Ineos Grenadiers announced four new signings all at once on Friday. Richie Porte, Laurens De Plus, Tom Pidcock, and Daniel Martínez will join the squad next season.
A team press release characterized the additions – each of which have been rumored in various media reports over the past several weeks – as the “final signings to complete 2021 roster.”
Porte’s signing marks a return to the organization for the 35-year-old Australian and now Tour podium finisher, who rode with Sky from 2012 to 2015. The versatile Pidcock, one of the most promising prospects in the sport, represents a major investment in the future. Martínez is coming off his best ever season after three years with EF, winning this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné and a stage of the Tour de France. De Plus is a talented up-and-comer who played a key support role for Jumbo-Visma at last year’s Tour and also won the 2019 BinckBank Tour.
| Van Vleuten confirmed for Worlds
Annemiek van Vleuten will start Saturday’s elite women’s road race at the Imola World Championships, only a little over a week after she broke her wrist at the Giro Rosa.
Van Vleuten traveled to Italy planning to start with the expectation of making an official decision the day before the race, and the Dutch Cycling Federation duly announced Friday that the defending champion would “definitely start” the event.
| UCI unveils 2021 calendars, Giro Rosa out of Women’s World Tour
The UCI made several announcements in a wide-ranging press release on Friday that confirmed calendars and future world championship destinations and touched on plans for a concussion protocol, among other things.
Noticeably absent from the Women’s WorldTour calendar published on the UCI’s website is the Giro Rosa. A major event that has been the premier stage race in the women’s peloton for years, the Giro has nonetheless received criticism for its lack of television coverage, which is now mandated for WorldTour events. According to the recently published calendar, the Giro Rosa will have 2.Pro status in 2021.
While the Giro Rosa is apparently losing WorldTour status for next season, a new race is gaining it, as the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas is being elevated to the top-division calendar.
In case you missed it
| From life-threatening crash to Belgian champion
José Been tells the compelling story of newly crowned Belgian champ Dries De Bondt.
| Preview: Your guide to the women’s road race at the 2020 Road Worlds
Abby Mickey has everything you need to know ahead of the elite women’s road race at Imola Worlds …
| Preview: Your guide to the men’s road race at the 2020 Road Worlds
… and Matt de Neef has everything you need to know ahead of the elite men’s road race at Imola Worlds.
| Nerd Alert podcast: Tech of the Tour de France
The latest Nerd Alert takes a closer look at some of the tech that stood out at the Tour.
Today’s featured image of Anna van der Breggen en route to victory in the Worlds time trial comes from Cor Vos.