Filippo Ganna has poured cold water on the prospect of him challenging for a Grand Tour, suggesting it would be the equivalent of asking Usain Bolt to run a marathon.
Vincenzo Nibali has flown the flag in Grand Tours for Italy for over a decade, but the Shark is in the tail-end of his career and fans are looking for a new star.
Ganna has enjoyed plenty of success on the track, while his power has allowed him to be a dominant force in time trials.
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There have been calls for Ganna to use his power to shift his focus from time trials to podiums, but the Ineos Grenadiers rider does not feel that is viable.
“Me targeting a Grand Tour? It's like getting Usain Bolt to run a marathon. Do you think that was ever possible?” Ganna, who won gold in the pursuit at the Olympics and the world time trial title, told Gazzetta dello Sport.
Should Ganna be selected by Ineos for the 2022 Tour de France, he would have a shot at taking the yellow jersey as the race opens with an individual time trial.
It is a prospect that has crossed Ganna’s mind.
"The yellow jersey is something I’ve always dreamed about. I’d love to win it and wear it but it won’t be easy because the Tour is tough and the time trial is on the very first stage.”
The 2022 Tour de France is set to start in Copenhagen, Denmark on July 1.
Ganna also said that he may try to break Victor Campenaerts' Hour Record - but would do so at sea level rather than altitude.
"We have to see if we can arrange everything exactly as I would like. I'm thinking about it and we're working on it with the team. Because if you do, we shouldn't leave anything to chance.
"In any case, I'm not going to make the attempt at height, as many advise to do. I will then attack the world Hour Record at sea level. When I do it that way, it's different and that gives me more satisfaction.”
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