Bissegger set for another year at EF Education-Nippo
'I have big plans for next season' says 23-year-old Swiss rider
Swiss standout Stefan Bissegger will return for a third season with EF Education-Nippo, the US-based team confirmed on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old rocketed to impressive time trial results in his sophomore WorldTour campaign, including a victory on stage 3 at Paris-Nice that landed him in the overall leader’s jersey for one day.
The Paris-Nice win was Bissegger's first victory as a WorldTour rider, his only other win taking place two years before as part of the Swiss national team at the 2019 Tour de l’Ain.
“I have big plans in my mind for next season, and hopefully they will play out,” Bissegger said in a team statement and noted that Andreas Klier, a sport director with the team, had helped him progress in his career.
“Andreas is like a mentor to all of the riders and his knowledge on the materials is just really good. I’m really looking forward to working with the entire team next season. I want to improve myself in the big Classics and also in the time trials.”
Back in 2019, it was Andreas who saw the young Swiss rider win the 162.6km opening stage of l’Ain on YouTube, which resulted in EF Education-Nippo signing Bissegger in August.
The 22-year-old Swiss rider is versatile, but excels in time trials. He was second only to World Champion Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) at the UAE Tour time trial to start 2021, and was second in the time trial at Tour de Romandie and Tour de Suisse and won the ITT at the Benelux Tour. He was one spot off the podium in the race against the clock at the European Championships, and seventh overall at Worlds.
“He’s exceptional on TT courses with numerous technical corners, and he can hold speed very well. In fact, I think he’ll be able to win the first time trial at the 2022 Tour de France,” said team CEO Jonathan Vaughters.
“He’s a great bike handler and instinctively knows how to handle tricky sections at speed. The more dangerous, the better for Stefan,” Vaughters said about Bissegger stormed over wet roads and was able to avoid a serious crash in his first Tour de France in the stage 5 time trial, finishing 18th.
At his home race in Switzerland just prior to the Tour, Bissegger added a stage 4 win in Gstaad to his second-place finish in the ITT, and took the points classification at the end of eight days of racing.
“I’m most proud of the stage win at the Tour de Suisse. A win at home is always really special,” said Bissegger.
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