Filippo Ganna is ‘like a cross between a Fabian Cancellara and an Ian Stannard’, according to Eurosport pundit and former Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins on the latest episode of The Breakaway.
The five-time Olympic gold medallist says that Ganna’s combination of power and climbing pedigree puts him in elite company in the history of the sport.
“I can’t make many comparisons of riders who have done that sort of performance,” Wiggins said.
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The only person I can really think of is somebody like Miguel Indurain, who displayed that sort of 80-odd kilogram power but who could climb while still looking good on the bike. Ganna makes it look elegant too.
Wiggins excelled on the track in the first half of his career before focussing on the road, but says that Ganna is a better rider at 24-years-old than he was.

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“He is streaks ahead of where I was, I wasn’t capable of doing that at that age,” Wiggins said. He’s a lot bigger and a lot stronger than I was, he’s more genetically gifted I would say.
“He’s like a cross between a Fabian Cancellara and an Ian Stannard – it goes against what he should be good at. He shouldn’t be able to climb that well, he should be in the gruppetto every day and things like that.”

Watch the latest episode of The Breakaway

Could Ganna target general classification honours at a Grand Tour? Wiggins says yes, but worries that dropping the sort of weight required to do so could negate Ganna’s strengths.
“I was about the same weight when I was on the track, about 82kg, as Geraint Thomas was. But when we got to the Tour de France it was more like low 70s.
“My worry with him is if he loses too much weight to go for the GC he might lose a little bit of power. You take away from what they are actually good at, he’s got the fundamental basics there already, but there could be a need to get him very skinny and that doesn’t work for every rider.
“I think they probably will try that, but it depends whether he wants that or not.”

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Fellow Eurosport pundit Brian Smith was similarly wowed by Ganna’s ride, and confirmed that the rider had in fact been riding in support of an Ineos team-mate for much of the stage before realising that he was the strongest man in the break.
“I didn’t expect that,” Smith said. “I think I said in commentary that of the eight riders out in-front he was the least likely to go well. He was doing the work, riding for Salvatore Puccio, we heard from one of his coaches afterwards who said he was riding for Puccio today… but Puccio was one of the first riders dropped.
“That was absolutely amazing. What we saw today was pure class and pure power.”
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