Küng Secures Third Overall at the OVO Energy Tour of Britain10. September 2017, Cardiff (GBR) — Road Team
Stefan Küng headed onto the podium in Cardiff today after an action packed final stage saw him secure third overall on the General Classification at the OVO Energy Tour of Britain.
The attacks began as soon as the flag dropped with the General Classification contenders testing one another over the opening 20km of the day before an impressive move from Silvan Dillier saw him go clear alongside six other riders. However, the peloton wasn’t happy to let the group get too far up the road, and the race was pulled back together approaching the first of three categorized climbs.
Going over the top of the climb to British Camp, with 154km of racing still to come, the peloton split dramatically. Küng and Ben Hermans made the front selection and were riding as part of a highly-competitive front group, which included the green jersey, Lars Boom (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), that went head to head at the first intermediate sprint with Küng securing one bonus second on the line.
Around 50 riders, including all of BMC Racing Team, came back together to form the first part of the peloton with the gap back to the rest of the field beginning to grow before, with 100km to go, it was sitting at over five minutes and it only continued to increase.
With 50km to go, and the rain bouncing off the road, the attacks began at the front of the race with two riders going clear. But as they crossed the finish line to start the first of two laps of a 7.6km circuit around Cardiff, the duo’s advantage was sitting at just over ten seconds, and they were eventually swept up, and the group was all together again as the bell rang.
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Dimension Data) attacked inside the final 3km, and despite the bunch charging behind him with 500m to go, he was able to hold on to his advantage to take the stage win, narrowly beating Maximiliano Richeze (Quick-Step Floors) and Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha Alpecin) on the line.
After a tough day of racing, Küng crossed the line safely in the main bunch, but with Boasson Hagen taking ten bonus seconds on the line, the BMC Racing Team rider slipped into third place on the General Classification, ten seconds behind the overall winner, Boom.
Meanwhile, Floris Gerts, who has had consistently strong finishes in the bunch sprints, crossed the line seventh on the stage.
Quotes From the Finish Line
"In one way, we sort of expected a hard race today. In the beginning, there was a real fight for the breakaway although, in the end, there was never really a breakaway. With a few sprinters dropped when the split happened, a few teams were pulling really hard to make sure they didn't come back. For me, I tried to be up there with all the dangerous moves and at the intermediate sprints but there wasn't a lot I could do against Lars Boom today, he was in control. Also, Edvald Boasson Hagen had an amazing day. When the three of us were away with Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), the collaboration wasn't good, and you don't go to the line like that. It was definitely a hard day, and the weather was pretty grim, but that was the same for everyone."
"This race has been a good training camp for the UCI World Championships, and it gives me a lot of confidence looking ahead. Even though I didn't win a stage, I was always up there, and I could mark the moves, so that shows that I am on form. It was good that it wasn't too hard as it would be difficult to recover but it was a good way to prepare and after a few easy days, I will be ready for what's to come in Norway."
Sports Director, Valerio Piva:
"It was a hard stage today especially with the bad weather on the circuit. For me, it was the hardest stage of the whole race, and after 30km we saw a big move, and all our guys went into the front group. It was a fantastic ride from everybody. All the guys were racing like lions today. Stefan Küng was fighting hard all day, but in the end, Boasson Hagen was stronger and won the stage to push Stefan into third overall. However, I think we can still be happy with our final result in Britain. Our objective was to finish on the podium, and we did that. Stefan was amazing yesterday and today, and I am happy with our result."
OVO Energy Tour of Britain
Stage 8: Worcester > Cardiff, 180.2km Top 3: 1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Dimension Data) 2. Maximiliano Richeze (Quick-Step Floors) 3. Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha-Alpecin)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 7. Floris Gerts 17. Stefan Küng 27. Silvan Dillier
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 2. Stefan Küng 11. Joey Rosskopf 14. Silvan Dillier