Pink panther Pogacar extends Giro lead after time trial - GulfToday

Pink panther Pogacar extends Giro lead after time trial


Team Emirates' Tadej Pogacar celebrates on the podium wearing the maglia rosa jersey in Italy on Sunday. Reuters

Team UAE Emirates star Tadej Pogacar extended his overall lead on the Giro d'Italia after finishing second in Saturday's 32.1km individual time trial at Lake Garda won by Italian Filippo Ganna.

Time-trial specialist Ganna timed 35min 02sec on this 14th of 21 stages with Pogacar in second place just 29sec down.

Pogacar left the starting ramp dressed from head to toe in the overall leader's pink colours and with the 'Pink Panther' movie theme playing.

And while he didn't win the stage itself he arrived on the shores of Lake Garda 3min 41sec ahead of Geraint Thomas in the overall standings with Dani Martinez at 3min 56sec in third and Ben O'Connor in fourth at 4min 35sec.

Pogacar has extended his overnight lead in the rankings ahead of Sunday's stage, which he described as "a monster" and whose finish line is at an altitude of almost 2,400m (7,874ft).

Pogacar has worked a lot on the time trial this winter, in particular his aerodynamic position, after losing 1min 38sec over 22km to Jonas Vingegaard in the last Tour de France. "I raced hard over the opening section with all the turns and people," said Pogacar. "But the final flat 10km was harder."

The 25-year-old is now more than ever the man to beat as he towers above the field in his debut Giro after a boldly declared bid to win both the Italian race and the Tour de France this season.

For Ineos Grenadier Ganna it was a stressful day, the Italian rider having been pipped at the death by Pogacar in the Giro's first time trial last week.

An early starter, Ganna cut a grim figure whilst watching the rest of the field dash across narrow country lanes.

"I suffered a lot, I had to wait two hours to see If I had won," said Ganna after what was his seventh win on the Giro, six of them in time trials. "It's like a second home for me here at Lake Garda though so that made it easier," he added.

Welshman Thomas was fourth on the day but climbs to second overall, albeit ceding 45sec to Pogacar on Saturday.

Australia's O'Connor produced a fabulous ride to finish seventh on the day and climb the rankings.

"I didn't feel great, but it was a great day. I'm starting to prove myself, I'm not at the same level as Pogacar or Jonas (Vingegaard) but I'm proving something," said the AG2R rider.

Agence France-Presse

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