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"I did the Vuelta last year, I hope to be in the Tour de France this year. This is my third professional year. We can not say it's too early for me to go to the Tour. Trek will send the nine strongest riders. I hope to be...

Photo: Sirotti




08.02.2015 @ 20:53 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

It was a nervous final day at the Étoile de Bessèges Sunday with the 11.9-kilometer time trial set to decide the overall winner, and when the last rider crossed the line Trek Factory Racing’s Bob Jungels laid claim to the stage win and with it the final leader’s jersey.


It was Jungels, 22, first professional stage race victory, and also the first win of the year for Trek Factory Racing. The Luxembourger blazed through the tough race against the clock in a time of 17:40, a full 19 seconds faster than Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), and 20 seconds ahead of Trek Factory Racing teammate Fabio Felline. 


“It’s special, I don’t feel it yet, I am still tired,” added Jungels, still showing the strain of his winning effort. “I think it will take time to sink in. It was not a huge race, but it was hard and it’s never bad to have a victory – especially the first one in the season. And, for me I was working super hard this winter, and it’s nice to be rewarded for that.


“I felt good already in the warm up. I was confident about my power, and I was calm before the start and not nervous at all. After two minutes I looked at my SRM power and saw good numbers. But I could also tell because your body has an internal clock, and I could feel that I was going well."


Riccardo Zoidl was an early starter and capped off a strong Trek Factory Racing display in the tough time trial, adding a fourth place behind a first and third, one second slower than Felline, and 21 seconds behind Jungels.


“We had a real good reference from Riccardo (Zoidl), which helped a lot,” Bob continued. “The last 1.5 kms was hard, pretty steep, but I knew that I could take time in the flat already so it was not a big concern. When I reached the final uphill I knew I had a good gap and I just had to manage my pace to the top. Then in the last 500 meters I went all out.”


"I am happy," he added to Directvelo. "This is the first victory of the team this year. It's good to start the season with a success on the stage, and I doubled with the overall too. We worked hard this week. We were often close to victory. It is a reward for everyone. 


"I was 30 seconds behind overall this morning. It's not nothing, especially for a distance of twelve kilometers. But I knew I could expect something with the wind and the final climb. I gave everything and it was enough. My strength is my power. Steep climbs are not my favorite climbs, but the day was not very long. If I can make it with 70-71kg, it'll okay. And I took much time on the flat. 


"I will continue with the Ruta del Sol, where there will be a beautiful prologue. Then it's Paris-Nice. I will try to show myself with the prologue and the Col d'Eze TT.


"The one-day races and one-week races suit me. Large races will be my goals, so Paris-Nice is one of them. Then there will be the Criterium International where I always race, and the Ardennes are a great goal for the team. I'll take the races as they come, with a lot of confidence through this success at the Etoile de Bessèges. 


"I did the Vuelta last year, I hope to be in the Tour de France this year. This is my third professional year. We can not say it's too early for me to go to the Tour. Trek will send the nine strongest riders. I hope to be at the Tour if I am one of them. 


"I won four races in my first year in 2013 by riding at a lower level. Last year was my first season with almost only WorldTour races on my program. It was another level. I see growth year after year, I hope it will continue like this."

Jungels’ time was enough to stake out the final overall win by nine seconds over Tony Gallopin with his Lotto-Soudal teammate Kris Boeckmans holding onto the podium to take third.



The time trial course was not long at just under 12 kilometers, but what it lacked in length it made up for with a punishing three kilometer climb to the finish line. Trek Factory Racing sport director Alain Gallopin described the tactics used for the tough uphill finish:


“Bob had 20 seconds on Riccardo [Zoidl] at the start of the final climb and he kept the same gap by the top, and it was the same with my nephew Tony [Gallopin], he also held the same gap from bottom to top. We decided to not take any risks in the final climb, just to keep the same rhythm, and that worked out perfect. The climb was around 3kms, it started gradual but then got really steep. At the top it was very, very difficult and if you go too hard from the bottom you can pay in the last part.


“I am very, very happy because it’s never easy to control a race, especially when you don’t have the leader’s jersey, “added a clearly elated Alain Gallopin.“But I knew from the start that Bob [Jungels] could win the overall, and after all the hard work by the team this week they really deserve this.” 



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