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Pink panther Pogacar extends Giro lead after time trial

Team UAE rider Tadej Pogacar. Photo: Luca Bettini/AFP

Team UAE Emirates star Tadej Pogacar extended his overall lead on the Giro d’Italia after finishing second in Saturday’s 32.1km individual time trial at Lake Garda won by Italian Filippo Ganna.

Time-trial specialist Ganna timed 35min 02sec on this 14th of 21 stages with Pogacar in second place just 29sec down.

Pogacar left the starting ramp dressed from head to toe in pink and with the ‘Pink Panther’ movie theme playing.

He arrived on the shores of Lake Garda 3min 41sec ahead of Geraint Thomas in the overall standings with Dani Martinez at 3min 56sec in third and Ben O’Connor in 4th at 4min 35sec.

Pogacar has extended his overnight lead in the rankings ahead of Sunday’s Queen stage, which he described as ‘a monster’ and whose finish line is at an altitude of almost 2,400m.

For Ineos Grenadier Ganna it was a stressful day, the Italian rider having been pipped at the death by Pogacar in the Giro’s first time trial last week.

“I suffered a lot, I had to wait two hours to see If I had won,” said Ganna after what was his seventh win on the Giro, six of them in time-trials.

“It’s like a second home for me here at Lake Garda though so that made it easier,” he added.

Welshman Thomas was fourth on the day but climbs to second overall, albeit ceding 45sec to Pogacar on Saturday.

Australia’s O’Connor produced an fabulous ride to finish seventh on the day and climb the rankings.

“I didn’t feel great, but it was a great day. I’m starting to prove myself, I’m not at the same level as Pogacar or Jonas (Vingegaard) but I’m proving something,” said the AG2R rider.

Sunday’s mountain top finish line at Mottolino could suit Pogacar with Martinez, O’Connor or French climber Romain Bardet all proven mountain performers.

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