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Filippo Ganna lights up Tour de la Provence prologue TT

World champion smashes 7.1km test against the clock, teammate Ethan Hayter second.

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Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) added another time trial win to his palmares in the Tour de la Provence prologue.

The world champion, and the odds-on favorite for the win, paced the 7.1km flat course at an average speed of 52.81kph.

Teammate Ethan Hayter was 12 seconds back, while Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama-FDJ) was just one second behind Hayter.

“To come back and win in Provence is really nice. It’s the first victory that I had for a WorldTour team and it’s nice to be back. This is a good start to the season and now we look to the next few stages,” Ganna said.

Ganna won the prologue at the 2019 Tour de la Provence in his debut in Ineos Grenadiers colors.

The route, which offered just 14m of elevation gain, required riders to navigate some traffic calming obstacles, as well as several roundabouts.

Ludvigsson posted an early best time, which put him into the hot seat for the better part of the day until he was displaced by the British rider Hayter by just one second.

Ganna soon reset the finish order when he blasted by the finish line, just 8:04 after he left the start house.

While eyes were on Julian Alaphilippe, who started several places after Ganna, the two-time world road champion came through the line some 17 seconds slower than the Italian time trial specialist.

Defending Tour de la Provence overall winner Iván Sosa (Movistar Team) ceded 1:04 in the opening test against the clock.

Sosa’s teammate American Matteo Jorgensen covered the pan-flat route in 8:28, finishing inside the top 20, in 16th position.

“It was hard but in the end, we took a good result for me and the team. Also, Ethan was in second position. Tomorrow is a really hard stage with a lot of wind but we’ll try and save the team and we’ll see the result in the end,” Ganna commented.

“We’ve started the season really well but we want to keep on improving because this is just the start, not the end. It starts now. I’m really happy. Maybe my shape isn’t what it was like last year but we’re getting close and we’ll try and improve again. Now we just focus on tomorrow.”

Friday’s stage 1 of the 2022 Tour de la Provence features a relatively short, category 3 climb that summits at 27km into the stage, which is otherwise pan-flat for the remaining 124km.

Sprinters’ teams will be doing battle against the wind before they can lineup to deliver the fastmen within striking distance of the finish in Les Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer.

2022 Tour de la Provence Prologue Results

  1. Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), 08:04
  2. Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers), at :12
  3. Tobias Ludvigsson (Groupama-FDJ), at :13
  4. Samuele Battistella (Astana Qazaqstan Team), at :15
  5. Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies), at s.t.
  6. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), at :17
  7. Maciej Bodnar (TotalEnergies), at s.t.
  8. Mathias Norsgaard (Movistar Team), at :19
  9. Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), at s.t.
  10. Ilan Van Wilder (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), at :20