Giro d’Italia 2020: Stage 1 – Ganna purrs into pink

It’s the first week of October in the Year of Our Lord 2020 so OF COURSE it’s stage 1 of the Giro! The fight for pink opened with a tricksy time trial on tricksy downhill roads, with a tricksy wind to catch the unwary. No autumnal squall was going to put new time trial world champion Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) off his pedal stroke. The Italian purred like a panther through the streets of Palermo to take stage victory and switch his rainbow skinsuit for the maglia rosa. Fellow Grand Tour debutants Joao Almeida (Deceuninck Quickstep) and Mikkel Bjerg (UAE-Team Emirates) rounded out the podium, both at 22 seconds down.

Final KM

The dominance of Ganna

Favourite to wear pink at the start of the stage, other than a little wobble on an early corner, Ganna never looked in trouble from the second he left the starting ramp.

And look at that gearing … *ouch*!

Cool, calm and collected at the start

Beast mode on the course

Records a-go-go

With a mostly downhill course, we got the intriguing possibility of setting a new record for the fastest average speed in a TT. He didn’t get the record, which stays with Rik Verbrugge‘s downhill prologue ride, but he did set a new one for “ITT not a prologue”. [Sounds like some of those strange awards : Best Actor in an Evening Scene (not twilight) – Ed]

Whatever the record, it was fast!!!!!

While Ganna’s name was on everyone’s lips, I don’t think many people expected Quickstepper Joao Almeida to hold the hotseat. The young Portuguese rider put in the ride of his life to finish on the podium. Chapeau.

That tricksy wind

There was no doubt that the course was going to be tricky. Rough road surfaces and downhill corners taken at speed made for some heart-in-mouth moments. Add in a gusting wind and time trial bikes and there was always the chance for mishap. Sunweb’s Chad Haga escaped with an unclipping.

Victor Campenaerts (NTT) hit the tarmac at the same corner and had words to say post race

Rohan Dennis (Ineos Grenadiers) was buffeted and blown around all over the place. Every time he cycled past a side street on the long straight main road in Palermo I kept my fingers crossed. Huge kudos for keeping the bike upright.

How’s it looking for the GC guys?

That wind played havoc. It was relatively calm for the early starters, at full force for those riders opting for the middle, and changed to a headwind for those who opted for a late start.

Geraint Thomas (Ineos-Grenadiers) and Mitchelton Scott’s Simon Yates will both be happy with their rides, coming in at +23secs and +49secs respectively. Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) and Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang less so, both losing over 1:40 to Ganna, and more importantly over 1:20mins to Thomas.  However, this is the Giro and anything can happen. Time lost now means someone is going to have to go looking for time gained somewhere else. [And that’s when it gets fun! – Ed]

Astana’s Miguel Angel Lopez had an awful crash in the final kilometres. The front wheel just turned suddenly, flipping the rider over his handlebars and into the side of the street. He was taken away by ambulance and we hope to hear good news from the team concerning his condition.

That kit

Love it or hate it, you can’t deny EF Pro-Cycling have played a blinder with their new kit announcement. Just look at all the column inches and social media posts they have gained!

I’ll keep it brief here, because I’m certain @kittyfondue will have plenty to say in the VeloVoices Giro Tweets of the Week on Tuesday. Just in case you haven’t seen it yet…

The team car

In motion – Lawson Craddock on his way to a top 1 finish

The hashtag #QuacksNotHonks

As for me, I’m just disappointed there isn’t a team time trial so we could see ducks in formation. BOOOO Giro organisers

Final Word

We LOVE Chad Haga’s tweets


Stage 1 Top 5

1 Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) 15:24

2  Joao Almeida (Deceuninck Quickstep) +0:22

3 Mikkel Bjerg (UAE TeamEmirates) same time

4 Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:23

5 Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) +0:31

GC Top 10

1 Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) 15:24

2 Joao Almeida (Deceuninck Quickstep) +0:22

3 Mikkel Bjerg (UAE TeamEmirates) same time

4 Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:23

5 Tobias Foss (Jumbo-Visma) +0:31

6 Josef Cerny (CCC) +0:36

7 Matteo Sobrero (NTT) +0:40

8 Lawson Craddock (EF Pro Cycling) +0:41

9 Miles Scotson (Groupama-FDJ) +0:42

10 Matthias Brandle (Israel Start-up Nation) same time

All the jerseys

Leader’s jersey Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers)

Points jersey Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers)

King of the Mountains Rick Zabel (Israel Start-up Nation)

Best Young Rider Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers)

For full race reviews, go to cyclingnews.

Official race website: Giro d’Italia

Header Image: Photo by AFP/ Luca Bettini/Getty Images

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