At the start of the 81st Tour de Suisse a double victory in the time trial of Cham by Rohan Dennis (AUS) and Stefan Küng (SUI) resulted. Dennis covered the 6 km of the stage against the clock with an hourly average of 56.16 km/.
“Too bad. I would have loved to win, because in professional sports only victory counts. After 4 km, I lost some of my power and was no longer able to pedal the really big gears”, said Küng, who competed in the Swiss National Tour for the first time and who nevertheless lived up to the high expectations. “But I have to accept that Rohan was faster than me.”
In contrast to Küng, who is scheduled to participate in the Tour de France with his sports group, Rohan Dennis is only on the reserve list for the ‘grande boucle’. The Australian had set his sights high for the Giro d’Italia, but was forced to retire after a crash in stage 3. The fact that he was already in such good shape again after his convalescence surprised even Dennis: “I had not necessarily expected to win Cham, and certainly not with an eight-second lead. If I had made a prediction, I would have thought it would have been more like Küng.”
Dennis had won the opening race of the Tour de France in Utrecht (NED) two years ago, also with a record hourly average at that time. Nevertheless, the former hourly world record holder does not want to be seen as a ‘miracle man’: “I just drive as fast as possible. After all, it’s my job.” The Australian had only been called up for the Tour de Suisse by his sports group for a short time and will be more of a helper for Damiano Caruso (ITA) in the coming stages.
Behind the duo Dennis/Küng the gaps remained small. The Giro winner Tom Dumoulin (NED/SUN, 5th in the time trial, 9 seconds behind) confessed that he is going for the overall victory in this Tour de Suisse. And road world champion Peter Sagan (SVK/BOH, 17th, 16 seconds behind) will probably be in the leading positions at the end of the flat stages. It remains to be noted that Martin Elmiger (SUI/BMC) achieved a remarkable result in his 16th TdS participation with 10th place.