Kung loses Tour de Suisse yellow jersey after late crash

Caruso up to fourth overall for BMC

For the second stage running, a late crash saw a BMC rider lose the Tour de Suisse's yellow jersey. After Rohan Dennis' stage 2 fall, Stefan Küng also bade farewell to the leader's jersey after he came off inside the final 10km of stage 3 and was unable to regain contact.

Damiano Caruso, the team's GC man for the race, was the team's best finisher in tenth place while Greg Van Avermaet was 15th. Küng and teammate Tejay van Garderen led the next group over the line at 19 seconds and slipped to 12th place overall. He also lost the best Swiss rider jersey to Michael Albasini.

"It was a nice feeling to be wearing the leader's jersey today. There were a lot of people out on the road which makes me really proud to wear the jersey arriving in Bern. It was a beautiful finish but really hectic and really fast," Küng said. "Unfortunately, on the corner with around 9km to go, I nearly went down with a few other guys and I lost a lot of positions in the bunch. It was really hard to make your way back up from there with all the corners and everybody battling to be in front. It was really hectic and unfortunately I couldn't hang on until the end."

Adding that he enjoyed his first day in a WorldTour leader's jersey, Küng highlighted the work of Dennis to ensure the majority of the stage was smooth and straightforward.

"The day was nice and I really enjoyed it. I think we can now look forward to the rest of the race. The guys did an amazing job again. Rohan Dennis was really good today. He did it all on his own really and then with Michael Schär and Daniel Oss there for Greg, I think we can be proud once again about how we rode as a team. It shows we are here to ride our best."

Sports director Jackson Stewart also explained that Dennis' work for the team did not go unnoticed and he was pleased to see the Australian bounce back after his stage 2 crash.

"It was calm at the beginning and Rohan Dennis worked really hard on his own for a long time. He did a really good job especially after his crash yesterday. It was just nice to see that he could ride the bike let alone ride the whole stage and be able to control the gap. We wanted to go for the sprint with Greg Van Avermaet while at the same time respecting the jersey and trying to see if Stefan Küng could keep the jersey," said Stewart.

"The other teams came and really tried to close the gap which helped a lot. Greg tried, and we did a great job in the final. Michael Schär knew the roads and the approach, and he took Greg, Daniel Oss and Damiano Caruso with him and they really took control of the race. We gave it everything we had."

With Tour de France leader Richie Porte showing his form at the Criterium du Dauphine, where he won a stage and finished second, Stewart is hoping Caruso can continue his good race before he turns domestique for Porte in July.

"Damiano is now sitting fourth on GC, and he is riding like a leader as we expected him too. Unfortunately, Küng slipped back, but I think we are where we want to be," he added. "We have a stage win, we've been in the jersey, we've shown we have a strong team, and Caruso is right where we want him to be. So, so far it's been a good race for us."

Tuesday's 150.2km stage 4 from Bern to Villars-sur-Ollon is likely to see another change in the general classification with the first uphill finish of the race. Caruso will be aiming to become BMC's third race leader at the race and add to his Tirreno-Adriatico blue leader's jersey from March.


 

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