Kristen Faulkner (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) was victorious on stage two of the Tour de Suisse Women after an impressive individual time-trial performance.
It was a clean sweep for Team BikeExchange-Jayco as the Faulkner won the race against the clock with a time of 31-46, 14 seconds ahead of her teammate Georgia Williams.
Georgia Baker (TeamBikeExchange-Jayco) made it a 1-2-3 on the stage for the team, after finishing in a time of 32-49.
Lucinda Brand, the overall leader after stage one, finished a minute and six seconds behind Faulkner, handing the American the yellow jersey by a margin of four seconds.
The victory over the 25.6km course in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, was Faulkner's first for Team BikeExchange-Jayco.
HOW IT HAPPENED
A race against the clock was on the agenda for the riders on stage two of the Tour de Suisse Féminin.
Still in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, the riders would tackle a 25.6km course identical to the route that the men’s race would take on later in the day.
With just 133m of climbing on the parcour, it looked like it would be a day for the time-trial specialists.
Of the early starters, Olga Zabelinskaya (Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad) set the time to beat, finishing the course in 33-30 with an average speed of 45.85km/h.
Brodie Chapman (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) looked to have smashed the Uzbek rider’s time out of the water with a finishing time of 32-27, however, the time was later corrected to 33-55 due to technical errors.
German national time-trial champion Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling) looked strong at the intermediate split but could only finish two seconds behind Zabelinskaya.
However, Sarah Roy (Canyon-SRAM) did manage to better her time, averaging 46.03km/h over the course, as she finished in 33-21.
After an aggressive ride on stage one Jolanda Neff (Swiss Cycling) briefly moved into the hot seat with a time of 33-14, however New Zealand time-trial champion Georgia Williams would knock her off the top spot soon after.
The Kiwi put in an emphatic time of 32-00, averaging 48km/h on the road.
With 20 riders left to finish, Kristen Faulkner, Williams’ teammate, looked strong on the course around the Liechtenstein capital.
She was 18 seconds up on the New Zealand rider’s time at the halfway point and the American rider held on to her lead to the line, finishing in 31-46.
Faulkner’s time, in which she averaged 48.35km/h, looked very strong as the final riders began to cross the line.
Lisa Klein (Canyon-SRAM) a strong time-triallist in her own right, could only finish 21 seconds behind the American, with a time of 33-07.
Whilst one of stage one’s breakaway trio, Pauliena Rooijakkers (Canyon-SRAM) was 32 seconds down on Faulkner’s time at the intermediate split, with the Dutch rider eventually finishing in seventh with a time of 33-18.
Georgia Baker, another Team BikeExchange-Jayco rider, put in a strong performance that moved her into third on the stage, at 32-49, only behind her teammates.
Meanwhile, overall leader Lucinda Brand looked sprightly, arriving at the checkpoint just eight seconds behind Faulkner.
Brand was taking big risks on her run-in to the line, but her time would not trouble Faulkner’s as the Trek-Segafredo rider crossed the line in 32-53, after losing several seconds during the second part of the course.
As a result, Faulkner would move into the overall lead of the race by a slender margin of just four seconds.
It was a perfect day for Team BikeExchange-Jayco, as the Australian team made it a clean sweep on the stage podium, securing a 1-2-3 thanks to strong rides from Georgia Williams and Georgia Baker.
TOUR DE SUISSE WOMEN, STAGE TWO: VADUZ - VADUZ (25.6KM)
1. Kristen Faulkner (USA) Team BikeExchange-Jayco, in 31-46
2. Georgia Williams (NZ) Team BikeExchange-Jayco, at 14 seconds
3. Georgia Baker (Aus) Team BikeExchange-Jayco, at 1-03
4. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo, at 1-07
5. Lisa Klein (Ger) Canyon-SRAM, at 1-22
6. Jolanda Neff (Swi) Swiss Cycling, at 1-28
7. Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) Canyon-SRAM, at 1-32
8. Sarah Roy (Aus) Canyon-SRAM, at 1-36
9. Olga Zabelinskaya (Uzb) Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad, at 1-44
10. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling, at 1-46
GENERAL CLASSIFICATION AFTER STAGE TWO
1. Kristen Faulkner (USA) Team BikeExchange-Jayco, in 1-41-55
2. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo, at 4 seconds
3. Georgia Williams (NZ) Team BikeExchange-Jayco, at 14s
4. Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) Canyon-SRAM, at 34s
5. Georgia Baker (NZ) Team BikeExchange-Jayco, at 1-12
6. Jolanda Neff (Swi) Swiss Cycling, at 1-28
7. Sarah Roy (Aus) Canyon-SRAM, at 1-36
8. Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team DSM, at 2-06
9. Olivia Baril (Can) Valcar-Travel & Service, at 2-10
10. Brodie Chapman (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, at 2-19
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