Bob Jungels (Trek) can look back on the most successful season of his young career. Like in 2013, the 23-year-old won both the road race and the time trial at the Luxembourg Championships. In February, he took his first overall stage race victory as a professional at Etoile de Bessèges.
"My season balance is very positive. By winning the Etoile de Bessèges I started the year very well, "Jungels told radsport-news.com. In southern France, the Luxembourger took the overall title with his victory in the final time trial in Ales in which he left Tony Gallopin significantly behind.
Before he could celebrate more wins, however, Jungels had to survive a drought in the spring. Before Paris-Nice, his first season highlight, he had fallen ill and therefore he was "not at a physical level to get a result." He ended the first important stage race of the season in 23rd.
At the subsequent Critérium International, Jungels showed that he had recovered as he proved with second place in the time trial. This gave hope for the Ardennes classics for which he prepared himself at the Tour of theBasque Country Tour. But in the series of three heavy one-day races through the Netherlands and Belgium, things did not work for Jungels. "I had bad luck with crashes and mechanicals," said Jungels who scored his best result at the Amstel Gold Race with a 23rd place.
He showed a clear upward trend in June at the Tour de Suisse where a sixth place in the final time trial was enough to finish the race in sixth overall. A few days later, he won both national championships and traveled to his first Tour de France with confidence.
After initial difficulties in the first half of the Tour de France, the debutant gained momentum and was able to impress in breakaways on three occasions. A fourth, a fifth and an eighth place were the ultimately the deserved reward for his impressive performances. "The last two weeks at the Tour were an absolute highlight for me," Jungels said.
After the subsequent Clasica San Sebastian, Jungels’ season already came to an abrupt end in early August. Due to a hand injury that he had sustained in an accident at home, the Trek did no more races.
At this time, it was already known that Jungels would leave his team after the season to join Etixx-QuickStep. "We were very busy talking during the Tour, and in the end it was important for me that I signed a contract of at least two years. It was not an easy decision, but now I am very happy. I think it is a step forward for me,” said Jungels who will continue to focus on the weeklong stage races.
"I know that I can show myself in those races,” explained the stage race specialist who also has the Ardennes classics and a three-week tour on his radar “We have to see which one I will do and which role I will play,” said Jungels.
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