BMC Racing Team won the team time trial over 18.3 km in Frauenfeld, and Stefan Küng captured the first leader’s jersey.
With a mini training camp in Ramsen SH, the BMC Racing Team had prepared for this country tour. And with Stefan Küng, the professional septet had a driver in their ranks who knew the track north of Frauenfeld almost like the back of his hand. So all was arranged. The team with Captain Richie Porte (AUS) only had to put his intention into action.
“Of course we will go to the start to win the race”, Stefan Küng had announced on the day of the TdS kick-off. Together with his teammates, the man from eastern Switzerland put this great project into practice. 6 seconds was the lead on world champion Team Sunweb in the intermediate time (8.1 km). 20 seconds were finally at the finish line. At BMC, the last rider had to let go the first 1 km before the finish. Thus Küng crossed the finish line in the company of Olympic champion Greg van Avermaet (BEL), Porte and Tejay van Garderen (USA). Team Sunweb had started the selection process earlier and in the final phase Wilco Kelderman (NED), of all people, had some problems to keep up with his teammates. For the winning team, the result was a horrendous hourly average of 54.089 km/h.
The superiority of the BMC Racing Team was demonstrated, among other things, by the fact that contenders for overall victory such as Mikel Landa (MOV/ESP) and Nairo Quintana (MOV/KOL) are 33 seconds behind, Jon Izagirre (TBM/ESP) 36 seconds, last year’s overall winner Simon Spilak (TKA/SLO) 46 seconds and Mathias Frank (ALM/DetailSUI) even 1:07 minutes ago.
A year ago Küng missed the leader’s jersey in the individual time trial in Cham by 8 seconds against Rohan Dennis (AUS), but captured the lead in the overall classification on the second day – and also gave it up again.
Saturday had been like a tunnel for him: Preparations for the race, the effort on the time trial machine, the honors at the finish – it was not easy for Stefan Küng to put his latest success in perspective. But after all: “To achieve such a triumph in front of a home audience has a special significance.”