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10.12.2015 @ 08:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Gold in the team time trial at the Road World Championships in Richmond, a stage win at the Tour de Romandie and victory in the Limburg Classic (1.1). Stefan Küng (BMC) can be more than satisfied with the balance of his first pro year.


"The bottom line is that it went quite well," he told before adding: "Two individual professional victories! Prior to the season I would have signed immediately.”


However, it was far from optimal for Küng.  After "a great spring" with the two impressive victories in Limburg and in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and a fourth place overall in the Three Days of De Panne (2.HC), the young all-rounder had his first major setback in his Giro.


Küng broke a thoracic vertebra in a crash on stage 12 and then had to take a break for three months. He could only make his comeback at the end of August in the Vattenfall Cyclassics. After a solid performance at the Tour of Britain where he was 23rd, Küng was selected by the BMC team management for the line-up that won the gold medal in the team time trial at the Worlds in Richmond.


For Küng who has the eccentric former hour record holder Graeme Obree as his role model, it was another great triumph which made him optimistic for the time trial. But on the 53.5km course in Richmond, his performance was only good enough four 19th. "The long recovery phase was very exhausting so I missed something at the Worlds,” he said about his last race in the road season.


However, Küng was not only extraordinarily successful on the tarmac but also showed his class on the boards. Back in March, the Swiss champion became world champion in the individual pursuit on the velodrome in Saint-Quentin-en-Yevelines in Paris. In October he added the European title at the championships on home soil in Grenchen where he used a new Swiss record to beat Dominic Weinstein in the finale.


Given this impressive record on road and track, it was no surprise that he won the Swiss cyclist of the year award. He succeeded multiple winner Fabian Cancallara (Trek) who had been set back by two serious injuries.


Looking ahead to his second professional season, Küng said, "I want to establish myself more and take my chances. If I have a bit more confidence in the decisive moments, it is definitely possible to improve.”


In the Olympic year, however, the track will be an even bigger focus. First Küng wants to defend his title in the individual pursuit at the Worlds before he turns his eyes to August. With the Swiss team, Küng wants to create a surprise in the team pursuit in Rio. "I hope that we can deliver a great performance there," he said.



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