Stefan Küng goes solo to deny Classics stars in second Digital Swiss Five virtual race

The Swiss time trial star put in a strong performance to beat the likes of Greg Van Avermaet

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Time trial star Stefan Küng was utterly dominant in the second race of the Digital Swiss Five virtual series, winning ahead of Team Ineos rider Filippo Ganna.

With the winner of the first race, Rohan Dennis, skipping day two it was an open field with the likes of Sam Bennett (Deceuninck -Quick-Step) and Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) lining up.

It was expected to be a sprint day on the virtual roads, but Küng denied anyone chasing a fast finishing by riding clear almost immediately and putting out some staggering power numbers to win well-clear of his rivals.

How it happened

The Digital Swiss Five is an online race series run by cycling data company Velon and the organisers of the Tour de Suisse.

Over five virtual races, held on the platform Rouvy, teams of three riders from 19 teams compete on recreations of real-life roads.

Rouvy uses video footage of climbs and streets from out in the world and overlays virtual avatars of the pros, including riders from 16 WorldTour teams.

The second race of the series was slated as a sprint stage, with riders covering 44 virtual kilometres, starting and finishing in the Swiss city of Frauenfeld.

As experienced virtual racers will have expected, the race kicked off with a rapid pace.

Stefan Küng (Groupama-FDJ) was the first rider to push clear in the opening 10km, pushing out high six to seven watts per kilogram, with Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) and Michael Matthews (Sunweb) setting off on the pursuit.

Track star Filippo Ganna (Team Ineos) also utilised his enormous engine to bring back Van Avermaet and Matthews, putting himself in with a chance at the win.

Meanwhile, Team Ineos Classics specialist Ian Stannard was left standing at the start line, appearing to have suffered technical difficulties at the start.

The Ganna, Van Avermaet and Matthews trio pulled together to form a chasing group

At the half-way point Küng was still cruising at a huge power, putting out around 500 watts, which helped him pull out a 30-second advantage on the chasers.

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Into the final third of the race and Ganna was able to distance Van Avermaet and Matthews, but Küng continued to build on his advantage with 10km to race, as he still held around 6w/kg.

>>> How to watch the Digital Swiss Five virtual races and full start list, featuring Sam Bennett and Greg Van Avermaet 

Küng crossed the line comfortably ahead of Ganna who took second, with Michael Matthews powering clear of Van Avermaet in the final to take third.

The Swiss Digital Five, race two: Frauenfeld to Frauenfeld (44.8km)

1. Stefan Küng (Sui) Groupama-FDJ, in 54-30

2. Filippo Ganna (Ita) Team Ineos, at 47s

3. Michael Matthews (Aus) Sunweb, at 1-28