'Dreaming' Filipo Ganna claims Italy's first world time trial crown on home soil

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Cyclists riding

Filipo Ganna became Italy's first time trial world champion on Friday by pipping Belgium's Wout Van Aert on home soil in Imola.

Van Aert was 26 seconds behind the 24-year-old Team Ineos rider with Switzerland's Stefan Kueng trailing by 29 seconds in third place.

Ganna's victory just to the south of northern city Bologna adds to his successes in the individual pursuit.

"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," he 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," he added.

Former Tour de France champion, and Ganna's fellow Ineos rider, Geraint Thomas was fourth with 2019 winner Rohan Dennis in fifth.

This year's worlds have been shortened to four races from Thursday to Sunday and moved from Switzerland to Imola in Italy because of local Covid-19 restrictions.

On Thursday, defending champion Chloe Dygert of the United States crashed out allowing the Netherlands' Anna van der Breggen to claim the women's time trial event.

On Saturday, Van der Breggen's compatriot Annemiek van Vleuten will defend her women's road race title just eight days after fracturing her wrist at last week's Giro Rosa.

The worlds finish on Sunday as Tadej Pogacar, fresh from winning the Tour in Paris last weekend, will face competition from the man he beat to the yellow jersey Primoz Roglic for the men's 258.2km race which starts and ends on the Enzo e Dino Ferrari automobile circuit.

Results from the Road World Championships in Imola, Italy on Friday:


Individual time-trial (31.7km)

1. Filippo Ganna (ITA) 35min 5 sec, 2. Wout van Aert (BEL) at 26sec, 3. Stefan Kueng (SUI) 29, 4. Geraint Thomas (GBR) 37, 5. Rohan Dennis (AUS) 39, 6. Kasper Asgreen (DEN) 47, 7. Remi Cavagna (FRA) 48, 8. Victor Campenaerts (BEL) 52, 9. Alex Dowsett (GBR) 1:06, 10. Tom Dumoulin (NED) 1:14.

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