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Kristen Faulkner snatches GC lead with Tour de Suisse stage win

Faulkner leads BikeExchange-Jayco podium sweep in stage 2 of four-day race.

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Kristen Faulkner won Sunday’s time trial to take a narrow GC lead at the Tour de Suisse Women.

Alaskan racer Faulkner led a BikeExchange-Jayco sweep of the Vaduz TT to land four seconds ahead of stage 1 winner Lucinda Brand (Trek-Segafredo) in the overall.

Georgia Williams and Georgia Baker went two-three on the podium in a standout day for Aussie team BikeExchange.

Also read: From venture capitalist to professional cyclist: The rise and rise of Kristen Faulkner

Brand started the day in the leader’s jersey after winning Saturday’s opening critérium. She finished fourth at 1:07 on Sunday to find herself sandwiched between teammates Faulkner and Williams on the GC.

With three riders in the top five of the classification, BikeExchange-Jayco is no doubt in the driving seat for the back half of the race.

“I think we made up for the mistakes we made yesterday. Maybe we’d have liked to have a bit more of a gap going into tomorrow and the last day, but I think we can be pretty satisfied with the day,” said team director Alejandro Gonzalez-Tablas.

With Pauliena Rooijakkers (Canyon-SRAM) also in range at 34 seconds ahead of a hilly day Monday and a closing mountain stage Tuesday, the race isn’t done yet.

“I’m just going to try to race my own race,” Faulkner said Sunday. “I enjoy climbing and we have a ‘queen stage’ here. I’m going to look forward to that and hopefully do well. I’ve got to stay calm right now and race the rest of the race.”