CAMIGLIATELLO SILANO, Italy (Reuters) – Italian Filippo Ganna gave his Ineos-Grenadiers team something to cheer about on the Giro d’Italia when he claimed the fifth stage, a 225-km trek from Mileto on Wednesday.
The time trial world champion rode away from a group of three breakaway riders in the category-one ascent to Montescuro to win his second stage of this year’s edition after taking the opening time trial.
The 24-year-old, whose previous six wins all came in time trials, crossed the line 34 seconds ahead of a group of overall contenders, according to provisional timings.
His team mate and pre-race favourite Geraint Thomas, who was forced to abandon after a crash early on the third stage, came to congratulate him afterwards.
“Last night I messaged with Geraint and he said I should try to go in the breakaway and win the stage, so I did it a little bit for him,” said Ganna.
“It was not easy in the climb but when I attacked I just did my own time trial.”
Austrian Patrick Konrad came second, and Portugal’s Joao Almeida took third place to retain the overall leader’s Maglia Rosa.
Thursday’s sixth stage is a 188-km stretch from Castrovillari to Matera, in the Basilicata region.
(Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Hugh Lawson)