Bradley Wiggins has backed Filippo Ganna to push the World Hour Record so far out of reach that it will not be broken again in his lifetime.
Ganna enjoyed a memorable Giro d’Italia for Ineos Grenadiers, claiming four of their seven stage wins in Italy.
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The 24-year-old, competing at his maiden Grand Tour, won all three individual time trials, secured a memorable victory from the breakaway on Stage 5 and played domestique to Tao Geoghegan Hart’s unlikely general classification success.
His performances prompted Wiggins to make a bold prediction for his future, with Ganna previously revealing that he had his sights fixed on Victor Campenaerts’ World Hour Record of 55.089km.
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“Wait till he does the hour record, let me tell you now,” said Wiggins, who made the 60-minute race mainstream when he set 54.526km at a packed London velodrome in 2015, on his latest podcast.
“If he does the hour record, and does what I think he will do based on my calculations, no one will ever break it, in my lifetime,” Wiggins added.
Ganna and Geoghegan Hart were not the only Ineos riders to revel in Italy, with Jhonatan Narvaez clinching Stage 12 and Rohan Dennis producing two heroic stints in the mountains.
Dennis ripped open the GC battle on the Stelvio and Sestriere to propel Geoghegan Hart to the cusp of a maiden Grand Tour title.
The Australian arrived at Ineos after a public falling out with his old team Bahrain-McLaren, who terminated his contract midway through 2019 after a dispute that began when he mysteriously abandoned the Tour de France without explanation.
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“A lot of people don’t understand him, you know? And some teams he goes to he gets labelled as awkward, hard to get on with, he kicks off every now and again,” said Wiggins.
“He is a supreme athlete who on his day is near enough unbeatable, or can produce something spectacular, like he did at the World Championships last year and like we have seen this week.
“He just needs to be respected and people need to understand that if he is upset with something, he’s going to f****** say something, he’s not going to just conform for the sake of it and sometimes it just manifests in his way probably a bit too brutal because he doesn’t pander to people.
“He has gone to a team where he is around people who respect him for his physical attributes and probably understand him more as a person.
“When you get that and do that, you get a better him back and the work he has done the last few days for his team…
“I saw him after the second time trial that Ganna won. People would assume that he wouldn’t be happy that Ganna has beat him. I remember, he waited at the tent before Ganna came in and he gave him a big hug, patted him on the back, proper smiles… he was genuinely happy for him, not bitter or anything like that.
“He is really enjoying life in that team at the moment.”
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