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Ganna storms to victory in opening time trial at Giro

Italian cyclist Filippo Ganna lived up to his billing as the favorite by storming to victory in the opening stage time trial of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday, beating his closest rival by 10 seconds.

Ganna, who is the reigning world time trial champion, will wear the first maglia rosa (pink jersey) as the leader of this year’s race.

There were questions about Ganna's form coming into the Giro, but the Ineos Grenadiers rider obliterated his rivals on the fast, 8.6-kilometer (5.3-mile) course through the streets of Turin, finishing with a time of 8 minutes, 47 seconds.

Italy's Filippo Ganna gestures prior to the start of the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia cycling race, an individual time trial in Turin, Italy, Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Gian Mattia D'AlbertoLaPresse via AP)

He and second-placed Edoardo Affini were the only cyclists to finish under nine minutes. Tobias Foss was third-fastest, 13 seconds slower than Ganna.

The 24-year-old Ganna also wore the first maglia rosa of last year’s Giro, after winning the opening time trial of the rescheduled race in October.

Sunday’s second stage is a mainly flat, 179-kilometer (111-mile) route from Stupinigi to Novara.

Italy's Filippo Ganna competes during the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia cycling race, an individual time trial in Turin, Italy, Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Fabio FerrariLaPresse via AP)

The Giro finishes on May 30 in Milan with another individual time trial.

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Italy's Edoardo Affini competes during the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia cycling race, an individual time trial in Turin, Italy, Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Massimo PaoloneLaPresse via AP)

Mikel Landa prepares to start the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia cycling race, an individual time trial in Turin, Italy, Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Gian Mattia D'AlbertoLaPresse via AP)

Belgium's Victor Campenaerts pedals during the opening stage of the Giro d'Italia, tour of Italy cycling race, an individual time trial in Turin, Italy, Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Gian Mattia D'AlbertoLaPresse via AP)

Vincenzo Nibali competes during the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia cycling race, an individual time trial in Turin, Italy, Saturday, May 9, 2021. (Fabio FerrariLaPresse via AP)