Ganna lifts Ineos-Grenadiers' spirits with Giro stage five win

FILE PHOTO: Cycling - UCI Road World Championships - Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, Imola, Italy - September 25, 2020 Italy's Filippo Ganna in action during the men's elite individual time trial REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini/File Photo

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)

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