Konig's Czech Republic time trial win secures Rio Olympic qualification

Team Sky rider claims first professional victory against the clock

Team Sky's Leopold König ended Jan Barta's (Bora-Argon 18) four year run of winning the red, white and blue jersey at the Czech national time trial titles to automatically secure a position in the Rio Olympic Games. The win was König's first against the clock as he covered the 50km Hodonin course in 1:08:01, eight seconds ahead of Barta.

"It's my first title and it also means nomination for Rio as well - automatic selection for the time trial and road race - so I'm double happy!," König said in a release from his team.

König was a non-starter on the final stage of the Tour de Suisse earlier this month, having finished 16th in the Davos time trial, due to a sore throat but showed no signs of illness to claim his first win of the season.

"Barta is one of the top 10 time trialists in the world I would say. He's been top 10 many times at the world championships and he's hard to beat. So it is a good achievement, especially after such a long period without training and the injury. I'm extremely happy it worked out," added the bronze medallist from 2010.

The 28-year-old has had a reduced racing programme in his second season with Team Sky as a persistent knee injury leaving him on the sidelines for four months and limiting him to just four races - Trofeo Pollenca - Port de Andratx, Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana, Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and Suisse.

"I felt great after the Tour de Suisse. I knew that after the injury if I did a hard race like that the shape would come," he said.

Runner-up in the road race last year to Petr Vakoc (Etixx-QuickStep), and Petr Benčík in 2011, König will turn his attention to claiming a second national champions jersey of the week.

"Next for me it's the road race on Sunday and for sure I'm aiming for a double!," he said.

Seventh on his Tour de France debut in 2014, König was 70th last year as helped teammate Chris Froome to a second yellow jersey but won't be making a return in 2016 due to his lack of race days and focus on the Rio Olympic Games.

 

 

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