Filippo Ganna attacks this Saturday (8:00 p.m.) in Switzerland the hour record held, curiously, by one of his engineers. A failure could be seen as a disavowal for the Italian rider, who is not at his best this season.

On August 19, in the scorching summer, Dan Bigham, a former track cyclist turned performance engineer for Ganna’s Ineos-Grenadier team, caused a sensation by riding 55.548 kilometers in one hour at the Granges velodrome, beating thus the record held by Victor Campenaerts since April 2019.

An incredible feat for the 31-year-old Briton, totally unknown outside the velodromes, who was initially only supposed to collect information before the Ganna attempt.

Ganna will race on the same track and ride the same bike, custom-built by Pinarello with a 3D-printed frame that uses biomimicry to increase its aerodynamic performance with reliefs inspired by whale fins.

Ganna, 26, is a two-time world time trial champion (2020, 2021), a quadruple world champion in individual pursuit (2016, 2018, 2019, 2020) and an Olympic champion in team pursuit (2021).

“It will be 60 minutes and maybe after 36 minutes I want to die!” Ganna exclaimed at his press conference, aware that he will have to suffer a lot on the bike.

“I will have to make the best effort of my life,” he insisted during a videoconference in which he confided in his “dream” of beating Chris Boardman’s old record (56.375 km), erased from the statistics after a regulation change.

The Italian Filippo Ganna has taken the victory in the opening time trial of the Tirreno Adriatico, ahead of the Belgian Remco Evenepoel and the Slovenian Tadej Pogacar.

In Italy there is some controversy about the date chosen for his attempt. Initially scheduled for the month of August, Ganna, tired of the Tour de France, postponed it to October 8, which coincides with the Tour of Lombardy, the last great classic of the season. “An inappropriate coincidence,” lamented RCS Sport, organizer of the Lombard race, which asked Ganna, in vain, to find another date.

“Ganna should have waited until the end of the World Championships on track”, next week in Saint-Quentin-en Yvelines, said Francesco Moser, the man who in 1984 broke the record that belonged to Eddy Merckx for 12 years. “There would have been no more races and his attempt would have had all the attention in the world,” Moser told Gazzetta Dello Sport.

Ineos responded that the velodrome was not available before and that postponing the attempt after the World Track Championships was “too late for a cyclist who has raced all season”.

Waiting for 2023 was also not an option, as a rule change regarding the handlebars would have meant throwing away all efforts to develop the bike that Ganna will use. The pressure will be maximum. “He must beat his engineer’s record, otherwise it will be very difficult,” said Francesco Moser.

Fuente Mundo Deportivo