Stefan Küng clocked the ninth-fastest time on the 22.5km Tour de France stage 20 time trial in Marseille, his second top ten stage finish in his Tour de France debut.
Küng was BMC Racing Team’s third rider to roll down the ramp and was chasing the early best time of 28’15” set by Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe).
At the first check point, Küng clocked the fifth-fastest time, before dropping to sixth at the second intermediate check point and then putting in a strong finish to cross the line with the provisional fourth-fastest time.
Despite the majority of the peloton still to roll out, Küng’s time was only beaten by five more riders and he secured ninth place at the conclusion of the stage.
Sitting in 11th on the General Classification before the time trial, Damiano Caruso was the last rider to take to the start line for BMC Racing Team.
Caruso navigated the course to clock the 21st-fastest time of the day behind eventual winner Bodnar which was enough to retain his position overall.
The peloton now heads to Paris on Sunday for the traditional sprinters stage finishing on the Champs Elysées.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Stefan Küng:
“It’s a bit disappointing because I was coming here today with the hope of a podium spot but it’s hard to do such an effort after three weeks. It’s my first time trial at the end of a Grand Tour so that’s always particular, especially with the steep hill in the middle so it was hard to pace. It’s a good experience for me. In general, on a personal note, my first Tour de France was pretty successful. It’s my first Tour and I’m coming out pretty fresh so I think it will be a good start to the remainder of the season. To do the race with the 200 best cyclists in the world, it’s something else.”
“The descent was pretty technical and then the run into the finish was pretty fast. I was holding back maybe a little bit too much because I did it twice in the recon and the hill seemed pretty steep. It was still steep in the race but it takes you half the time to go up there. I think if I could do it again I might have been faster.”