A Tirreno-Adriatico breakaway group led by Filippo Ganna ©kramon

Will big watts be enough? Filippo Ganna targets to San Remo and Roubaix

Will big watts be enough for Ganna to take on monuments?

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What do you do with all those watts? In theory, just about anything.

There are career models for Filippo Ganna, should he try to follow them. Fabian Cancellara is the obvious one, another winner of multiple time trial world titles, a big man (for bike racing) over 80kg, a capable bike handler. The raw power that made him fastest against the clock found a happy home in springtime Monuments – Flanders, Roubaix, San Remo – and even GC leads in Grand Tours. Ganna, 25 years old this year, wants to follow that path.

For the first time, he will have the considerable freedom to do so, he told Gazzetta dello Sport. The Ineos Grenadiers will look to him throughout the season, and he will play prominent roles at Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix this spring.

“I have discussed it with the team,” he said. “This year I will also have my own chances, I will have more carte blanche, with the team at my disposal. A calendar has been designed for me to make the most of my abilities.”

“There will be great opportunities to show that I am not ‘just’ a time trialist or a track cyclist,” he said.

In pursuit of that goal, Ganna will ride Etoile de Besseges, which starts Wednesday, followed by the traditional classics-man haunt of the UAE Tour and then Paris-Nice. That block is intended to set him up for form at Milan-San Remo, the first real target.

Roubaix is the next. Ganna found success on the cobbles of northern France before. He won the Paris-Roubaix Espoirs event in 2016, just one of two one-day races he’s won across his entire career. The other was the GP Laguna Poreč in Croatia the same year.

He’s doing a bit of extra work to prepare, particularly in the gym.

“To cope with Paris-Roubaix, I am working on my abs and the upper part of my body more than usual,” he said. “When that is done, I still have to lose a few kilos in the run-up to the Tour.”

Ganna has raced other major one-days since his peak with the U23s in 2016 but has found limited success. Usually, he entered with domestique duties hanging around his neck. He’s raced MSR four times with a top placing of 74th, Gent-Wevelgem in 2018 (43rd) and Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne in 2019 (38th). Not exactly what the early careers of Cancellara or Tom Boonen looked like.

He does have two world time trial titles, six stages of the Giro d’Italia, two national TT titles, Olympic track gold, and lots more. The watts are there. The question is, are watts enough?

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