Top Ten for Küng and van Garderen in Volta ao Algarve ITT16. February 2018, Lagoa (POR) — Road Team
Stefan Küng and Tejay van Garderen showed their strength in a race against the clock at the Volta ao Algarve stage three individual time trial, stopping the clock with the third and seventh-fastest times respectively.
Küng was one of the earlier riders to roll down the ramp, chasing the provisional best time of 24’20” set by Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal), and was the fastest at the first time check with 8’12”.
Sprinting across the finish line Küng clocked the second-fastest time, eight seconds slower than Campenaerts across the 20.2km time trial.
With a strong field of time trial specialists, there were multiple changes to the top ten throughout the day but no one was able to better Campenaerts’ time until the General Classification contenders rolled down the ramp.
Tejay van Garderen and Richie Porte were BMC Racing Team’s final two riders to hit the course and van Garderen put his off season training on show with a strong ride in his first time trial of the year to finish 36” behind Campenaerts with the fifth-fastest provisional time.
Porte, who had been modest about his ambitions at the race, clocked 26’15” at the finish line.
Race leader Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) was the fastest on the day and stopped the clock in 24’09” to extend his overall lead.
Van Garderen’s seventh place in the time trial sees him move up to fifth on the General Classification with two stages remaining.
Jürgen Roelandts was one of the many riders to crash in the time trial but was fortunate to escape without injury, just road rash, BMC Racing Team doctor, Dr. Giovanni Ruffini confirmed.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“To be honest, my sensations were not so great. I had great feelings in the TTT in Valencia and I thought because it was the same time of effort it would be the same, but I never really got in there. It was a hard TT, up and down, a bit windy, and a lot of corners. I did my best but I was dying a little bit in the end. But it’s the start of the season, the first test. For sure, it’s a little bit disappointing to come close to, what is at the moment, the best time but the season is long. It’s a good first step and I’ll go from here.”
Tejay van Garderen:
“I felt good. The sensations were good and the power was reading well. I got a little nervous in the bus because Jurgen came back with road rash as he had crashed out on the course, so I kind of had it in my mind to take it easy in the corners. I didn’t go down so you could say that was the right call but it messed with my nerve a little bit. But I put in a good time, moved up on GC, and stayed safe so I’m happy. Sunday has a climb I know well. It is a bit better than the climb we had the other day. It’s less tactical and it’s steeper so it will be more selective. So hopefully we can put on a show there.”
“I’m not really shocked or surprised with how today went. I will be good come Tirreno-Adriatico which is my first big goal of the European campaign. I’ve got some hard work to put in but I’m more than prepared to do that. My coach David Bailey and I expected a performance like this based on my recent training. I think I’ve been doing some good base miles back in Tassie and now I’m ready to sharpen up a bit in the next three weeks.”
Volta ao Algarve
Stage 3 ITT Lagoa > Lagoa (20.2km)
Top 3: 1. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky), 2. Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal), 3. Stefan Küng (BMC Racing Team)
BMC Racing Team top 3: 3. Stefan Küng, 7. Tejay van Garderen, 22. Dylan Teuns
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.