Ganna succeeds himself
Sunday 19 September 2021
A World Time Trial Championship at home, that was the mission for favourites Evenepoel and Van Aert. Evenepoel was the first to set a strong time, but Van Aert did even better. It was outgoing world champion Ganna who turned it into a wildly exciting World Championship at the final intermediate point. At the finish line it was the Italian who took his second world title in a row with a 5-second lead.
It was 14:40; the time had come. The start of the 2021 UCI Road World Championships could finally get underway with the Elite Men's Individual Time Trial. After a minute's silence in memory of the late Danish analyst and former cycle racer Chris Anker Sorensen, it was up to UCI President David Lappartient to open the race.
The first strong time was set by the German Walscheid. It wasn’t long before home rider Evenepoel beat Walscheid’s time. He took his place in the hot seat on the stage at ’t Zand in Bruges, with Walscheid and Bisseger at his side. After that, all eyes were on the last three guns on the starting podium in Knokke-Heist: European Champion Küng, Van Aert and outgoing world champion Ganna.
Küng was not able to repeat his European Championship performance. He was slower than Evenepoel and finished in fourth place. Van Aert, for his part, immediately set out to get the job done and was fastest at the intermediate points, with Ganna in second place. However, at the second and final intermediate point, his lead had decreased to less than a second.
The last 10km would decide the victor of the first race at these 2021 UCI Road World Championships. At the finish line, the spectators welcomed their favourite Van Aert with loud applause, but not much later both the fans and Wout had to be satisfied with second place. Italian outgoing champion Ganna was 5 seconds quicker at the finish line, extending his world title.
During the first podium ceremony at ’t Zand, the Italian Ganna shone, with the Belgians Van Aert and Evenepoel at his side.