It is in Aire-la-Ville, not far from the French border and just outside of Geneva, that the Swiss time trial championship took place on Thursday. Forced to miss the race in 2022 and 2023 after five consecutive titles, Stefan Küng was present this year to get back onto the Swiss throne. “The course was made of two loops of 15.4 kilometres,” explained Julien Pinot. “There were two climbs on each lap, a rolling one of two kilometres averaging 3% and another one before the finish of one kilometre averaging 5.5%. Between the two, there were some very flat parts, which made for a slightly hilly time trial. It suited Stefan quite well. However, he came there without too many references because it had been a long time since he had raced a real time trial over thirty kilometres. His feelings were improving on the Tour de Suisse, but they were not amazing either following the bronchitis he got during his training camp.” The former double European time trial champion was expected on the start ramp at 3:05 p.m., and with two riders setting off after him. “We began with a conservative strategy,” said Julien. “Given the lack of references, we preferred to play it safe in the first lap. The goal was to start well but not aim for the highest target.”

However, after 15.4 kilometres, Stefan Küng was already at the top of the ranking, seventeen seconds ahead of Jan Christen and forty-one seconds ahead of Stefan Bissegger. “If he was able to accelerate on the second lap, that was a pretty good sign, and that’s what he managed to do,” added Julien. “He opened up big gaps over a specialist like Bissegger. It’s positive “. At the finish, he won the gold medal hands down, 1’07 ahead of Bissegger, and 1’11 over Christen. “I wasn’t 100% confident before today’s race given my difficult preparation,” Stefan said. “I was still looking for good feelings, so it’s nice to win today, even more with a good gap over my opponents and with a good feeling in general on the bike. I’m very happy and it puts me on the right track for the next appointments. A big thank you also to the team for putting me in good conditions, with everyone’s support. And obviously, it’s nice to win for the first time with the Wilier Supersonica.” “It was important to unlock his counter, and that of the new bike,” added Julien. “Stefan needed this. He felt the condition was coming at the Tour de Suisse, but today it was a real test to see if he was in the right direction for what he has been working for over the past weeks. It is so. It’s a very good sign.”

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