Before defending his Luxembourg road title on Sunday, Kevin Geniets already knows he will continue to wear his national colours over the coming year, at least in the time trial. On Friday night, the 24-year-old indeed conquered gold after just 20 kilometers around Harlange. He will then line up on the road race with quite a peace of mind and already a jersey in the bags.
For quite a few months now, Kevin Geniets has got very involved in the time trial, and has actually been very consistent in this area. So much so that at the 2021 Luxembourg championships, the young rider of Groupama-FDJ had made it a clear goal. A bronze medallist last season for his first attempt among the “big boys”, he was definitely aiming higher on Friday on the Harlange short course. “I worked the time trial a lot with my trainer, I did many specific trainings,” said Kevin. “I had this race in mind for a while. I was really focused on this time trial, I wasn’t thinking about the road race”. His trainer Julien Pinot actually joined him the day after the team’s 1-2-3 at the French championships. “I’m really happy Julien came with a mechanic for me,” Kevin said. “It really gave me confidence, it was an ideal situation for me.”
“It really gives me confidence”, Kevin Geniets
On this time trial day on Luxembourg territory, the former “Conti” rider started his race quite late, after 8 pm. “The route was made of two laps of around ten kilometers (9.8) each,” added Julien Pinot. “There was a descending half, then a rather tough ascending half. It was important not to make a mistake in managing your effort, and Kevin did very well. We had little information, but he had a nice gap. He started fast, and although he did get stuck a little bit at the start of the second lap, he put in a great performance.” Twenty-four minutes and fifty-four seconds after his start, the young rider therefore crossed the line with the best time and an average speed exceeding 47km/h. His two most serious competitors completed the course forty-four and fifty-eight seconds slower, respectively. “He made big gaps on Ries and Kirsch who are not just anyone, let’s not forget,” said Julien. Kevin Geniets thus unquestionably got his first title as Luxembourg time trial champion among the pros, having already won the event as a junior and a U23. “The time trial went really well, I’m very satisfied,” he said.
He also already knows that he will not completely let his national colours go in the coming year, although he is also determined to retain his crown in the road race on Sunday. “It was a good thing to do this time trial before,” he added. “I will be relaxed and prepared for the road race. It really gives me confidence. We saw that the shape was good at the Dauphiné, I proved it here again and it feels good mentally”. “The condition is good”, confirmed Julien. “He has fulfilled this first goal but he’s already thinking about Sunday as he aims for the double on a course that may suit him”.