Before taking well-deserved holidays, Stefan Küng made a detour to Les Herbiers this Sunday to compete in the Chrono des Nations. Doing so, he was able to take a sixth and final win this season, as he clearly dominated today’s competition over the 44,5-kilometre course. The two-time European champion therefore added a nice line to his record and peacefully closes the 2021 chapter, just like Arnaud Démare a week before.
Unlike most of his teammates on Paris-Tours, last week, Stefan Küng had decided to postpone the end of his season for a few days in order to compete in the Chrono des Nations this Sunday. The race, which he had never participated in before, came at the right time to end his season on a high note. Around Les Herbiers, the Swiss rider had to cover nearly 45 kilometers and face, in particular, the likes of Remco Evenepoel or Martin Toft Madsen, a two times winner of the event. As usual in his discipline, he also had his coach Julien Pinot alongside him. “It was a typical time trial day”, said the latter. “We made one last little recon this morning. It was a long route that had two different parts: the first one was quite hilly with a lot of small climbs and descents, while the second one was way flatter”. Starting at 3:31 p.m., the Swiss rider quickly made a point. “Stefan did a really big first section, which allowed him to have a good gap at the first checkpoint,” added Julien. “After fifteen minutes of racing, he had some 20-30 seconds on Latour or Evenepoel”. “I got off to a good start and was able to increase my lead until the second checkpoint,” confirmed Stefan. “Then I just had to hold on until the end.”
“It’s nice to finish the year on a high note”, Stefan Küng
“The final was a bit more difficult, but we knew we had a good gap to Madsen while, at the same time, we could see Evenepoel ahead of us,” recalled Julien. Always in control, Stefan Küng therefore did not tremble in the end and could take the win with a thirty-six second lead over Martin Toft Madsen, his runner-up, and more than a minute over Alessandro De Marchi, third. “It was a nice time trial and a great organization,” commented Stefan Küng. “As soon as I have a bib on my back, I go all out. I prepared myself well for this time trial. I wanted to do well, end the season with a win and that’s what I did. It’s nice to win with the European champion’s jersey and to finish the year on a high note. Now let’s think about holidays before getting back to work in the winter in order to come back stronger next year”. “Adding the Chrono des Nations to his career’s record is something important for a specialist,” said Julien Pinot. “It also enables us to end the year in a very good way and we are all very happy”. Finally, thanks to this success, Stefan Küng brought the Groupama-FDJ cycling team’s record to twenty-four victories in this 2021 season.