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Filippo Ganna keeps cool ahead of expected Tour de France debut

Italian specialist will go head-to-head against Wout Van Aert in key time trial battle at Critérium du Dauphiné.

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SAINT PAULIEN, France (VN) — Filippo Ganna is playing it cool ahead of a likely debut at the Tour de France next month.

The Ineos Grenadiers time trial star is racing this week at the Critérium du Dauphiné, but is refusing to add gasoline to the hype fire building ahead of the toward the Tour.

“I want to go to the Tour de France, obviously,” Ganna said at Tuesday’s start. “We will see what the team says. Right now the plan is to go to the Tour, but we will wait for the decision of the team.”

The 25-year-old is on the team’s long list of candidates to make the team’s eight-rider roster. The Italian is expected to already have a spot locked down, but he said Tuesday that he still has not received official confirmation he will race.

Sport director Gabriel Rasch told ITV that the final Tour selection will come after the Tour de Suisse later this month.

“We will look at how the riders have done in the past and how they are responding to these races,” Rasch said. “We are not looking so much at the results, but if they are ready for the Tour and if their condition is where it should be.”

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All eyes will be on Ganna in Wednesday’s 31.9km mostly flat time trial at the Dauphiné.

Again, he refused to speculate about a highly anticipated showdown with Wout van Aert, whom he beat to win the world TT crown last fall in Belgium by just six seconds on a 43km course.

“There are many favorites for the time trial,” Ganna said, laughing off questions from the media. “I will think about the time trial tomorrow. It’s better to be focused on today’s stage.”

Others looking to go well Wednesday include Jumbo-Visma’s Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard, UAE Emirates’ Brandon McNulty, and Rémi Cavagna (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl).

Ganna is three for four in individual time trials so far in 2022. He won at Tour of Oman, Tour de la Provence, and at Tirreno-Adriatico, but Stefan Bisseger bested him at the UAE Tour in a short, 9km time trial in February.

Ganna is coming off a big training block, and returned to racing this week at the Dauphiné for the first time since Paris-Roubaix in April.

“At the moment, I am taking it day by day,” he said. “The first days after not racing I have been suffering a lot but I hope to get better through the week.”

Ganna also shrugged off questions about reports he is considering a multi-million-dollar deal to transfer to Trek-Segafredo or about a planned attempt at the hour record.

“We will see after this race,” he said as he tried to escape the clutches of the media. “Right now I am not thinking about the hour record because the Tour de France is more important.”

Ganna clearly prefers to let his legs do the talking, at least right now.