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Stefan Küng takes Le Chrono des Nations title

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Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) wins Le Chrono des Nations

Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) wins Le Chrono des Nations (Image credit: Ronan Houssin)
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Podium for Le Chrono des Nations elite men (L to R): second place Martin Toft Madsen (BHS-PL Beton Bornholm), winner Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), third place Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation)

Podium for Le Chrono des Nations elite men (L to R): second place Martin Toft Madsen (BHS-PL Beton Bornholm), winner Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ), third place Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation) (Image credit: Ronan Houssin)

Switzerland's Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) won the end of season Le Chrono des Nations in the western Vendee region of France, covering the 44.5km course in a time of 51:46.

The European time trial champion took his first-ever victory used his power and speed to beat Martin Toft Madsen (BHS-PL Beton Bornholm) by 36 seconds, with Italy’s Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation) third at 1:16.

New Zealand time trial champion Aaron Gate (Black Spoke Pro Cycling Academy) was fourth at 1:22, with Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-QuickStep) surprisingly off the pace and fifth in the same time as Gate.

The 39th edition of Chrono des Nations was expected to be a duel between Küng and Evenepoel after World Champion Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) pulled out to get his injured rib treated in order to compete in the UCI Track World Championships in Roubaix this coming week. 

“Time trial is always a bit of a mental game,” Küng explained. “I suppose Remco didn’t fight fully after he realised he was behind. It’s normal. When I heard the advantage I had at the last intermediate sprint, I just maintained my speed. I came here for winning. I found my rhythm from the start and I made a difference in the first part of the race that suited me better.

“My old national coach Daniel Gisiger also told me about this race a long time ago,” the European champion added. “It’s been a pleasure to come here. It’s a really nice event. It’s a perfect way to finish the season even though I felt some fatigue today. It’s been a good season for me. I’ve constantly performed all year long. I believe I still have a margin for improvement in the future. My morale wasn’t very high after all my crashes in Paris-Roubaix but I was motivated for doing well today. It’s a great pleasure to win here.”

Martin Toft Madsen, a double winner of Chrono des Nations in 2017 and 2018, was once again in contention. 

“I think I did a good ride today,” said the Dane who completed the course 35 seconds slower than Küng. “I knew it would be hard to make the podium again with a lot of big names at the start. I came be happy with my second place. This is the biggest race of the calendar for me. It’s something I have prepared for for the last month or so. I’m very happy to do good.”

At age 35, De Marchi, was delighted to be on the podium. “It’s the first time I come to Chrono des Nations. I must say that I’m very happy to have come here because it’s a great organisation, it doesn’t often happen to have this kind of event. The course is long and difficult. For whoever likes time trials it’s important to have tests like today. I’m pretty happy with the result. My feelings were good, considering that it’s the end of the season," said the Italian, who wore the Maglia Rosa during the first week of the Giro d’Italia.

“In the past few years, I dedicated quite a lot of space to time trials. I like this specialty. For my last seasons, it’s something I’ll focus on even more. I would have liked to contest a spot at the Olympics this year but my crash at the Giro has changed a bit of everything. I don’t like to dream but for Paris 2024 I’ll continue to focus on time trialing and come back to Chrono des Nations.”

Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ 0:51:47
2Martin Toft Madsen (Den) BHS-PL Beton Bornholm 0:00:36
3Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation 0:01:16
4Aaron Gate (NZl) Black Spoke Pro Cycling 0:01:22
5Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
6Rune Herregodts (Bel) Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise 0:01:28
7Frederik Muff (Den) Team Coloquick 0:01:32
8Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies 0:01:44
9Justin Wolf (Ger) Bike Aid 0:01:49
10Miguel Heidemann (Ger) Leopard Pro Cycling 0:02:03
11Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) St Michel-Auber 93 0:02:18
12Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:02:22
13Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:02:27
14Felix Ritzinger (Aut) WSA KTM Graz 0:03:24
15Julian Braun (Ger) Team SKS Sauerland NRW 0:03:34
16Iljo Keisse (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:03:39
17Ognjen Ilić (Sbr) Serbia 0:03:59
18Tom Thill (Lux) Xspeed United Continental 0:05:10
19Mathijs Paasschens (Ned) Bingoal Pauwels Sauzen WB 0:05:28
20Polychronis Tzortzakis (Gre) Kuwait Pro Cycling Team 0:05:48
21Florian Maitre (Fra) TotalEnergies 0:06:07
22Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:06:25
23Ahmad Badreddin Wais (Syr) Iraq Cycling Project 0:07:35
24Emilien Jeanniere (Fra) TotalEnergies 0:07:52

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