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Filippo Ganna to take aim at hour world record at sea level

Olympic team pursuit gold medalist on the track wants to better the 60-minute mark in 2022, but at low elevation for ‘more satisfaction.’

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Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) may take on the UCI world hour record in 2022, and when he does, he said he’ll attempt it at sea level.

“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,” said the two-time world champion time trialist.

“In any case, I’m not going to make the attempt at [altitude], 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,” Ganna added.

Many of the recent benchmark distances for what many athletes call the “hardest hour” are set in velodromes situated at altitude, with precisely controlled environments. Velodromes situated at altitude offer lower air density relative to sea level and have, in the past, allowed riders to produce the fastest times.

Victor Campenarts currently holds the UCI world hour record of 55.089km, which was set on April 16, 2019, at the velodrome in Aguascalientes, Mexico, at an elevation of 1,950m (6,400 feet) above sea level.

Briton Alex Dowsett made an unsuccessful run at this record on November 3, 2021, at the same velodrome, in Mexico. Dowsett previously set the world hour record on May 2, 2015, at the Manchester Velodrome.

When Joss Lowden set the mark of 48.405km for women, on September 30, 2021, she did it at the Velodrome Suisse, in Grenchen, Switzerland, which is situated at 1,480m above sea level.

Big ambitions for 2022

Ganna, 25, rode to his second world championship title in the individual time trial, in 2021. He also led the Italian team pursuit squad to a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

The 1.93m (6 feet and 4 inches) tall Italian has his sights set high for the 2022 season, with hopes of winning a monument, repeating performances on the track in the individual pursuit and team pursuit, and also wearing yellow at the Tour de France, according to CyclingWeekly.

“I dream of the yellow jersey. I would love to wear it, even if it won’t be easy as it’s a tough race. The first chance presents itself on the first day, in the opening time trial. Then we have to see how it goes, but I’m sure of one thing: it will be tough every day,” said the 25-year-old from Verbania, Italy.