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Küng beat Foss in the French time trial Sunday in what was the newly crowned world champion’s first race in the rainbow jersey.
Küng’s two-second margin over Foss made for a near mirror-image of the result from the Wollongong worlds last month, where Foss upturned the favorites with his three-second raid on the rainbow jersey.
“It’s nice to win and finish on a good note, in a good event with a very high level this year,” Küng said Sunday. “I’m taking a little revenge for the world championships.”
- Küng pipped to long-awaited TT gold: ‘I could cry, not out of joy’
- Foss upturns the favorites to claim worlds time trial
Foss took to the Les Herbiers start ramp on a special edition Cervélo and sporting a box-fresh striped Jumbo-Visma jersey for his first time trial since Wollongong.
Unfortunately for Foss, the “new bike day” vibes didn’t deliver over the flat 45km course.
“It was a nice fight between Stefan and me. Unfortunately, I lost only by two seconds, but I can be satisfied with this,” he said.
“After the Tour of Lombardy, I was sick, so I didn’t have the best legs today. Nevertheless, I gave everything, and I’m happy I could perform well in the time trial.
“The fact that I get to ride in this jersey is still surreal. Normally I ride my races in yellow-black, and now my jersey looked completely different.”
Küng on an off-season time trial mission
Küng’s successful Chrono defense sees the big Swiss hit the bullseye after a string of near misses through 2022.
A three-victory season could have been a lot more for the Groupama-FDJ captain. Küng hit the top-10 in five of the spring’s biggest classics and monuments, and was left heartbroken with second at both the European and world TT Championships.
“Now I want to take a break and enjoy the family during the holidays. I’m also already looking forward to getting back to the 2023 season! It’s the conclusion of a very good year for me, very consistent overall,” he said.
Küng now rides into his off-season with the comfort of a contract stretching through 2025 with Groupama-FDJ.
“The team and I are motivated for the future,” he said. “We are going to work well this winter, on all possible aspects, in particular the time trial bike. We saw it once again today (Sunday), it was very tight so we’re not going to let go.”