Switzerland’s Stefan Kung won a second successive European time trial title on Thursday, producing a stunning ride to edge Filippo Ganna into second.
Kung had been three seconds down on world champion Ganna at the half-way point but powered through to clock a time of 24:30 over the 22.4km course in Trento, beating the Italian to gold by eight seconds.
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Ganna had to settle for the silver medal, while Belgian Remco Evenepoel was seven seconds further off the pace and took bronze.
It means that Kung successfully defended the European Championship crown he won last year, but coming against a more stacked field it is arguably a bigger achievement.
Kung, Ganna and Evenepoel were three of the last four riders to go off on Thursday, but remarkably the Swiss rider was the slowest of the trio at the intermediate checkpoint.
However, he maintained his form as his two rivals faltered slightly and came home an impressive eight seconds up on the Italian.
"It was a really fast course," Kung said. "But even though on the way back we had a little tailwind, it was really important to keep some power until the end, with all the corners and the small bridges.
"I knew when I did the intermediate [checkpoint] that I was within reach of the first two [Ganna and Evenepoel]. Normally it’s always my strength to come back in the end, and today I was just pushing and pushing and pushing."
'I'm really happy to win' - Kung retains European time trial championship
Kung's performance in Trento will put him among the favourites to win the world title in Belgium a week on Sunday, and that remains his primary objective.
He said: "It’s nice to have the [European Champions] jersey, but my big goal is to have a different jersey on the 19th of September in Bruges. That’s my big goal that I’m working to since Tokyo."
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