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Swiss riders scored a dominant double at the Chrono des Nations on Sunday.
Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) and Marlen Reusser (Alé BTC Ljubljana) came out tops in the standalone French time trial in what made for a good day for the two European and Swiss national champions.
It was a clash of two titans in the women’s race, where Olympic road race winner Anna Kiesenhofer (unaffiliated) squared off against Reusser, one of the season’s dominant racers against the clock.
Reusser had started the race as top-favorite after a stellar summer that saw her finish second in the Olympics and worlds while also taking the European and Swiss national titles. With riders like Annemiek van Vleuten and Ellen van Dijk absent, there was a sense only the Austrian Olympian could get in Reusser’s way.
The 30-year-old Reusser wasn’t to be stopped however, blowing nearest rival Kiesenhofer into the distance with her 52-second victory over the 25-kilometer course.
It made for a fitting farewell gift for Reusser’s Alé-BTC team before she moves to SD Worx next season.
Mieke Kroger (Coop – Hitec Products) finished third.
— ChronoDesNations (@ChronoNations) October 17, 2021
King Küng tops men’s, Evenepoel disappoints
There was a similarly sparse startlist for the men’s race, though not one totally without star names.
Küng lined up alongside Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and a host of WorldTour names after world champion Filippo Ganna withdrew at late notice, and it was all-eyes on the top two, who were the last riders out of the start gate.
It wasn’t Evenepoel’s day however.
The young Belgian was only fourth at the intermediate time check and never regained ground, while Küng monstered his way around the course with a dominant ride, completing the 44.5 kilometers at a speed of 51.561kph. The double European champion blasted to the line 36 seconds faster than surprise podium finisher Martin Toft Madsen (BHS-PL Beton).
Une victoire pour finir la saison !
Stefan Küng termine l’exercice 2021 par un succès sur le Chrono des Nations pic.twitter.com/403PRn6Ezr
— Équipe Cycliste Groupama-FDJ (@GroupamaFDJ) October 17, 2021
Alessandro de Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation) rounded out the podium, 1:16 back.
Olympic champ Primož Roglič and all-round ace Wout van Aert were not racing.
Top-3: Women’s race
- Marlen Reusser (Alé BTC Ljubljana): 33:36
- Anna Kiesenhofer: +0:52
- Mieke Kroger (Coop – Hitec Products): S.T.
Top-3: Men’s race
- Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ): 51:47
- Martin Toft Madsen (BHS-PL Beton): +0:36
- Alessandro de Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation): +1:16