Joy and sorrow at the World Cup | 19. September 2022
Time trial specialist Stefan Küng and the tight decisions against him at major events, this story has a chapter richer after the World Cup in Australia. The Thurgau is less than three seconds away from the long-awaited first World Cup gold. Meanwhile, Marlene Reusser from Bern won the bronze medal at the World Championships.
Stefan Küng looked like the sure winner for a long time, but once again it wasn’t enough for the gold medal.Fotos: Keystone, AP Photo, Rick Rycroft
During around 30 of the 34.2 kilometers in Wollongong on Australia’s east coast, Küng literally flew towards the first world championship title. At the first intermediate time after seven kilometers he was just ahead of the competition, by the second he had significantly increased his lead. Apart from a fall or a defect, nothing seemed to be able to stop the Olympic fourth-placed in the time trial, who drove through the many bends technically brilliantly and otherwise almost never left the optimal aerodynamic position.
In the end, however, the 28-year-old saw himself caught by a competitor in a tight decision. But not by Filippo Ganna, the world champion of the last two years and the “man who needs to be beaten”, as Küng had said beforehand. Nor by Remco Evenepoel, the 22-year-old Belgian high-flyer and winner of the Tour of Spain that ended a week earlier, and not by 0.32 seconds, as was the case recently at the European Championships in Munich, by European time trial champion Stefan Bissegger. For his part, the Thurgau had to deal with a disappointment in Australia with fifth place.
The men’s podium (from left to right): second-placed Swiss Stefan Küng, Norwegian winner Tobias Foss and bronze medalist Remco Evenepoel from Belgium.
The spoilsport from Küng’s point of view was rather – and quite surprisingly – Tobias Foss Down Under. The 25-year-old Norwegian is not a nobody, after all he won the Tour de l’Avenir, the most important junior tour, in 2019. But with the pros, if you ignore the Norwegian time trial and road championships, he was still without a win before Wollongong. Foss managed to outperform Küng in the last eight kilometers by being 15 seconds faster. As broad and almost a bit incredulous as the Norwegian’s laughter was at the award ceremony, Küng’s face was just as disappointed when he was only allowed to climb the second-top step of the podium.
Reusser’s seventh time trial medal in a row
For Marlen Reusser, the time trial podium series at major events also continued Down Under. With the hoped-for first world title, however, it was nothing for the Bern native. She was beaten by Ellen van Dijk from the Netherlands and Grace Brown from Australia on the same course as the men’s – a first for World Championships.
“Third and not second, as is so often the case, that’s something different and cool for once. But I’ll soon know the Dutch anthem by heart, something has to change in the future, »said Reusser, who, however, had become European champion in her special discipline just ahead of van Dijk a month ago in Munich.
As at the European Championships in Munich, Marlen Reusser from Bern was once again allowed to wear a medal.
In the World Cup time trial, however, the 30-year-old kept losing time to the defending champion from the Netherlands. At the finish after 34.2 kilometers they were 41 seconds behind. To win silver in Imola two years ago and in Flanders a year ago, she also missed 29 seconds in Wollongong.
Reusser, who has repeatedly suffered health setbacks this season and was unable to train as hoped for a few days after Munich due to illness, extended her series of top three places in tests against the clock with the bronze medal. Since the end of August 2020 and EM bronze in Plouay, she has always been on the podium at the Olympic Games, World and European Championships.
The results of the World Championship individual time trial
Individual time trial (34.2 km) men: 1. Tobias Foss (NOR) 40:02 (51.3 km/h). 2. Stefan Küng (SUI) 0:03 behind. 3. Remco Evenepoel (BEL) 0:09. 4. Ethan Hayter (GBR) 0:40. 5. Stefan Bissegger (SUI) 0:47. 6. Tadej Pogacar (SLO) 0:48. 7.Filippo Ganna (ITA) 0:56. – 48 drivers classified.
Individual time trial (34.2 km) women: 1. Ellen van Dijk (NED) 44:29 (46.1 km/h). 2. Grace Brown (AUS) 0:12 behind. 3. Marlen Reusser (SUI) 0:41. 4. Vittoria Guazzini (ITA) 0:52. – Further: 7. Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) 1:43. 26. Elena Hartmann (SUI) 5:01. – 41 Fahrerinnen class.