Bob Jungels regains Luxembourg ITT crown
The 25-year-old finished on the podium for the sixth consecutive year, a record for a Luxembourger.
Twelve months from coming over the line in second place at the National ITT Championships, Bob Jungels claimed the top spot following a strong and composed ride over the 23.8km-long course in Redange, in western Luxembourg, near the border with Belgium. The race consisted of two laps of an undulating 11.9km circuit, which took the riders through Beckerich and Noerdange, before returning to Redange, where they concluded on an uphill drag which had a 5.2% maximum gradient.
Last rider to start Thursday's race against the clock, Jungels moved into the virtual lead before reaching the intermediate point and continued to put time into his opponents, as he stormed to a more than convincing victory. The Liège–Bastogne–Liège winner stopped the clock in 29:15, 1:09 clear of Alex Kirsch (WB Aqua Protect), who came second, ahead of Tom Thill (Team Differdange).
The victory was Bob's fourth at the ITT Nationals (after the ones of 2013, 2015 and 2016), just one shy of the record held by Christian Poos, and served as confirmation for the 25-year-old Quick-Step Floors rider that he is on the right path ahead of his second career appearance at the Tour de France, which starts in just eight days.
"The course was beautiful and I had good legs, riding full gas from the beginning, so overall I am satisfied with my performance and with getting back into this nice jersey. I did a perfect race and at the end of it I am very happy, because it shows that all the efforts of the past weeks are starting to pay off, just as I am approaching this very important part of the season. Everything is in its place at the moment, which gives me even more confidence now that Le Tour is getting closer and closer", said Bob after capturing the 44th UCI victory of Quick-Step Floors this season and the 45th national title in the history of the team.
Bob Jungels' final appointment before the Tour de France will be the National Road Race Championships, which he won on four occasions (2013, 2015-2017). The 158km-long race presents a hilly course and is scheduled Sunday afternoon.
Photo credit: ©Cyclingpix by Serge Waldbillig