Stefan Küng in yellow, the stage win for Philippe Gilbert
11. June 2017









Only 24 hours after his quiet disappointment about his 2nd place in the opening time trial, Stefan Küng (SUI/BMC) was able to enjoy a nice honour. For his first participation in the Tour de Suisse, the Aargau native was allowed to be dressed in the leader’s jersey in Cham.

Bad luck seemed to creep into Team BMC after the prologue party when Rohan Dennis was involved in a mass crash 25 km before the end of stage 2 and had to give up his yellow bodice without a fight. Later, team captain Damiano Carusa tried his luck in the final climb to the Horben together with Jan Bakelants (BEL/ALM) and Rui Costa (POR/UAD). But this trio was too dangerous in view of the overall classification and had to let themselves be caught up 5 km before the end.

In the end, the time credits for stage arrivals played no role. The leader’s jersey remained in Team BMC, this time on the shoulders of Stefan Küng. “A childhood dream came true for me. Life has its ups and downs. This time the sun was shining for me. It’s great for me to be able to wear the yellow jersey on my own tour of the country, especially on Monday when I arrive in the capital city of Bern.” 5 km before the finish, the man from Aargau suspected that he could finish in 1st place overall, but had to wait for the information from the race management at the finish to be sure.

Philippe Gilbert had been under contract with BMC for five years. After this season he switched to a Belgian sports group and the Belgian really blossomed. Gilbert won the Tour of Flanders and the Gold Race in the spring. Now Gilbert was able to record a stage win for the first time in the Tour de Suisse: “I’d already occupied all the top ten places, but it was never enough for a stage win. I concentrated on the rear wheels on this hot day in the final. First of all we bet on Matteo Trentin. But suddenly I found myself in a promising position and took advantage of it to win, after having only managed places of honour in the Tour de Suisse in earlier years. Gilbert compared his triumph with a stage win in the Dauphiné Libéré, which he had achieved eleven years ago: “At that time, the profile of the stage was similar to that of the stage. The stage winner of Cham didn’t forget to mention the team helpers who took action at this high temperature to supply the team captain with potion seeds.

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