Stage 2: Binck Bank Tour

Stefan  Küng (BMC) moves into the leader’s jersey after victory in a soaking wet time trial on Stage 2 of the Binck Bank Tour

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Stage 2: Binck Bank Tour

Stefan Küng proved why he is becoming known as one of the best time trialists in the world on Binck Bank Tour stage 2, setting the only time under 11 minutes to secure his first individual time trial victory at a UCI WorldTour race and move into the leader’s jersey.

Küng was one of the first riders to roll off the ramp, and despite the wet conditions, he settled into his rhythm quickly and with the parcours being completely flat, the Swiss national time trial champion was able to power around the 9km course before clocking a time of 10’58” on the line.

It was a long and nervous wait in the hot seat over the next two and a half hours but as the final riders set off, Küng’s time remained unshaken and eventually it proved to be enough to secure the stage win and move into the leader’s jersey. Miles Scotson also started his effort early, and after a solid ride, he posted the eighth-fastest time of the day, crossing the line in 11’13”.

Stefan Kung: “It was a tricky time trial. It’s a city parcours, so there were lots of corners, lots of signs and painting on the road and with the rain, it made it a big challenge. I think I was able to push all the way through, but with all the roundabouts it was hard to know exactly when to push. On a time trial like this, you are always on the line of how much risk you want to take because you want to go as fast as possible, but you don’t want to go down, and I think I managed to do that well today.”

You had a long wait in the hot seat. Were you nervous at all as you watched the other riders out on the course?  “It was more of a cold seat because it wasn’t too warm today. I was waiting around two and half hours, and now I’ve finally won, so I am really happy. I couldn’t watch the race all the time because you are nervous already at that point so, I actually took the time and read.”

“A lot of good guys went off at the beginning, even before me, but I was watching Tony Martin (Team Katusha – Alpecin) anxiously. Unfortunately, he crashed, and I wish him all the best. Also at the end, I watched Peter Sagan (Bora – hansgrohe) as on a parcours like this, which was pretty technical, he can do amazing stuff on his bike. You are always nervous right up to the end because you never know and you don’t win the race until the last person has crossed the line so now I am really relieved.”

When you saw some of the riders that you had beaten, did you think that you had the winning time today? “It was a really difficult parcours. Even when I went out, the roads were wet, and it was raining slightly, and there was a lot of tricky corners, and we saw that a few guys crashed. You had to be focused, and there were about 20 turns. You had to remember which turn to take in which way and without an intermediate check point it was all out until the end. When I saw I had the best time, I knew I had beaten good riders like Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb), Maciej Bodnar (Bora – hansgrohe) and Jos Van Emden (Team Lotto-NLJumbo) but you never know. You just have to hope that you still have the best time at the end.”

And looking ahead to the rest of the race? “The goal is to take this jersey all the way to finish. It is going to be hard as there are some difficult stages, a lot of difficult stages actually with the race heading to the Ardennes and then the finish in Geraardsbergen. But I am coming out of the Tour de France, and I am in good shape so, we will fight until the end.” … continued after advert


Maciej Bodnar (Bora Hansgrohe): “Despite its short length, today’s time-trial course was very technical, with many twists and turns. I was lucky that I got off the ramp before the heavy rain started pouring but still, the road wasn’t completely dry. The strongest TT riders and specialists started a few minutes later and were also able to take advantage of the same conditions, which meant that the weather didn’t turn into an advantage for me. Taking second place, just 4 seconds off the winner, is a pity but despite that, I’m satisfied with my performance and my result. I’m much stronger in less technical time-trials, with fewer curves and stop-and-goes but my result today showed that my accelerations were very strong.”

Peter Sagan (Bora Hansgrohe): “I think I had a good result under such tough weather conditions. It is never easy to race when the conditions aren’t the same for everybody but, of course, there is nothing we can do, it’s part of a time trial. Overall, I’m satisfied with what I achieved today and, especially, that I didn’t crash under the heavy rain. It’s a real pity Bodi didn’t take the win today, he was strong and got so close.”

Matthias Brändle (Trek Segafredo): “I was on a good corner speed during the recon in wet conditions, but when I slipped out on a really slippery passage, my good sensation and feeling for the right speed in the corners was gone,” he explained. “I tried my best in the race, but with all the corners and roundabouts on the parcours, I just lost the little extra there… It’s a pity as I know that normally a parcours like this really suits me, but without top speed in the corners, I had no chance against Küng.”

Stage result
1. Stefan Küng BMC Racing Team 10:58
2. Maciej Bodnar BORA – hansgrohe @ 0:04
3. Tom Dumoulin Team Sunweb @ :05
4. Søren Andersen KraghTeam Sunweb @ :08
5. Lars Boom Team LottoNL-Jumbo @ 0:10
6. Yves Lampaert Quick-Step Floors @ :12
7. Matthias Brändle Trek – Segafredo @ :14
8. Miles Scotson BMC Racing Team @ 0:15
9. Tim Wellens Lotto Soudal @ :17
10. Jos van Emden Team LottoNL-Jumbo

11. Alex Dowsett Movistar Team @ 0:18
18. Peter Sagan BORA – hansgrohe
19. Ryan Mullen Cannondale-Drapac @ 25
23. Ben Swift UAE Team Emirates @ 27
40. Owain Doull Team Sky 0:35
53. Tony Martin Team Katusha – Alpecin @:40
75. Jonathan Dibben Team Sky @48
82. Tao Geoghegan Hart Team Sky @ 50
116. Mark Mcnally Wanty – Groupe Gobert 1:05
147. Ian Stannard Team Sky @1.17
160. Scott Thwaites Dimension Data @1.27

1. Stefan Küng BMC Racing Team84:01:07
2. Maciej Bodnar BORA – hansgrohe 0:04
3. Tom Dumoulin Team Sunweb 0:05
4. Søren Andersen Team Sunweb 0:08
5. Lars Boom Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:10



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