Küng moves into the general classification lead

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Stefan Küng (BMC) won stage two if the BinckBank Tour with a blistering time trial.

In what was otherwise a close contest, with the rest of the top ten posting times within seven seconds of each other, Küng obliterated the field with a time a whole fourteen seconds quicker than the next best rider, Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal).

As a result, Küng inherits the overall lead from Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Floors), who, as was to be expected, finished way down on the stage in 101st place at 1 minute 25 seconds.

How it happened

It was a pleasant day for time trialling, with all of the rain that affected yesterday’s stage having cleared away.

Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott) was the first rider to set a competitive time, arriving at the finish line in fourteen minutes and nine seconds.

For a while Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Floors) was the only rider to come close to that time, with a ride three seconds slower than the Australian.

However, Durbridge was eventually removed from the hot seat by Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin).

Having shown good time trialling form last week with fifth at the European Championships, the Briton put in another great time that looked as though it might be enough to challenge for the stage victory, and looked relaxed on the hotset where he was seen tucking into some food.

His meal was rudely interrupted when Michael Matthews posted a time four seconds quicker, who himself was ousted mere minutes later by his Sunweb teammate Søren Kragh Andersen.

There was to be no stage victory for the Dutch team, however, when first Victor Campenaerts and then Stefan Küng pushed them down to third and fourth on the standings.

Campenaerts, who won gold at the European Championships time trial last week, appeared confident of another victory, when he celebrated upon crossing the finish line – something unusual for a time trial, with so many riders still to arrive.

Things looked ominous when, moments after Campenaerts finished his ride, Küng was seen passing his minute-man further down the road. That was an early indication of the superb ride the Swiss rider was on, and he ultimately put a whopping fifteen seconds into the Belgian’s time to take the overall lead.

Most of the GC favourites posted good enough times to keep themselves in overall contention.

Two-time overall winner and last year’s runner-up Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) ceded 31 seconds to Küng, while the likes of Greg van Avermaet (BMC) and Niki Terpstra (Quick-Step Floors) posted similar times.

Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) and Michael Valgren (Astana) fared worse as they lost 41 and 42 seconds respectively, meaning they’ll have work later in the race if they’re to challenge for the overall honours.

The BinckBank Tour will continue tomorrow with what is expected to be a bunch sprint in Antwerp.

Results

Stage two

1 Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Teamin 14-11
2 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 14s
3 Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb at 15s
4 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb, at same time
5 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors at 19s
6 Alex Dowsett (GBr) Katusha-Alpecin, at same time
7 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 20s
8 Miles Scotson (Aus) BMC Racing Team at 22s
9 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 23s
10 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors, at same time

General classification after stage two

1 Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team in 4-15-11
2 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 14s
3 Soren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb at 15s
4 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb, at same time
5 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Quick-Step Floors at 19s
6 Alex Dowsett (GBr) Katusha-Alpecin, at same time
7 Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 20s
8 Miles Scotson (Aus) BMC Racing Team at 22s
9 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe at 23s
10 Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors, at same time