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Küng wins the individual pursuit and Coquard takes gold in the elimination race

Photo: Sirotti
17.10.2015 @ 20:49 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Stefan Küng succeeded in transforming the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen into a madhouse on Saturday afternoon: the 21-year old Swiss rider confirmed his world title in the Individual Pursuit this past spring in Paris, and gave the Swiss team, which has already won two silver medals and a bronze, the pleasure of its first gold medal.


In his hard fought victory against the even younger German Domenic Weinstein, Küng managed to best his morning time by almost a second, clocking in at 4:14.996, establishing a new Swiss record. It was such a fast time that no rider has ridden faster in this event at an international championship since the Chris Boardman’s superman position was banned. Küng surpassed even Bradley Wiggins’ winning time at the Olympic Games in Beijing, which was the last time that this event was a part of the Olympic program. Compared to his morning run, Küng was slower in the first kilometer by over half a second. But then he found his rhythm, and was able to increase his cadence over the third kilometer where he broke Weinstein’s resistance.


For Küng who comes from the Thurgau region in Switzerland, today and Sunday provide him with the opportunity to increase his medal count, after having won the silver with the Pursuit Team on Thursday. Sunday, he will be racing the Madison with his friend Théry Shir. When asked whether he would like to have a complete collection of medals, he replied: “I am not going for bronze.” He will be hoping to find a similar mood among the audience that gave him a lift on this memorable Saturday afternoon. And there is still the opportunity to come and support him along with the rest of the riders since not all the tickets for Sunday’s races have been sold.


The second event that was decided Saturday afternoon was the Elimination Race for the men, which has had a spectacular premier at this European Championships. The brutal test that forces the riders to sprint every two laps, ended with Bryan Coquard as a deserving champion, especially since he spends most of his time racing on the road against the best sprinters in the peloton. Just this year in the closing stage of the Tour de France, he took second to André Greipel on the Champs-Elysées. His great victory also marks the first gold medal for the French for these Euro Championships. But he is no stranger to success on the track since this past spring he became a World Champion along with Morgan Kneisky in the Madison, while at the 2012 Olympics he fought his way to a silver medal in the Omnium.



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