Every year, when the dust settles, we always find ourselves longing for the next edition…
Stefan Bissegger won stage 3 and now wears the yellow jersey at Paris-Nice after a show-stopping sprint to the line in Gien, France.
“It feels really great to show what I’m capable of and to take the win here,” said Bissegger.
His performance at the Paris-Nice time trials shook up the cycling world and nobody really outside of the team could have expected him to take the win. The 23-year-old was up against some of the most experienced and successful riders in the sport. And yet in his first full season as a pro, Bissegger proved that he’s a name worth remembering in the cycling world.
When teammate Neilson Powless watched him cross the finish line, he could best describe the energy as ‘electric.’ “We’re gonna have a fun dinner tonight and we’ll use this momentum for the rest of the race. It gave us the confidence we needed to carry forward,” said Powless.
Today’s stage was an incredibly difficult one according to Sport Director Andreas Klier. “It was a very exciting ride regarding the power output and the steering and just the overall risks you had to take,” said Klier. “Stefan knew very well what he wanted. And today everything came together and he was the fastest. Every second counted and he knows very well how to time and pace a TT.”
Bissegger and teammate Magnus Cort agreed with Klier. If you were out there riding today, you had to take plenty of chances and power moves in order to secure a top spot. “It was really technical. You had to take risks at the right corners and be patient in other corners as well. I think I managed it well, so I’m super happy about that,” said Bissegger.
Magnus Cort’s sprinting abilities were also on full display as he shared impressive results with his new teammate. “I was hoping for a top 20 and I got that. Then it was so amazing to see Bissegger take the stage win and jersey. It was a big win overall for the team today,” said Cort.
Bissegger’s talent, especially in the time trial stages, was recently showcased at the UAE Tour where he placed second in the event. “Time trials definitely suit me and I’m very happy. It’s the second big stage race of my career,” said Bissegger.
Bissegger grew up around the green pastures of Switzerland and is now a stage winner on the WorldTour. He’s been racing bikes for nearly half of his life and did his first road race when he was 10 on a bike borrowed from his local bicycle store. “The guy from the store told me I couldn’t start the race on the bike I had been riding around on as a child,” Bissegger explains. “He gave me a bike of his. That bike and that race started it all. And the funny thing is, the guy who gave me the bike, he’s now my trainer. I was 10-years-old. He’s been by my side for 10 years now,” said Bissegger.
The training has certainly paid off as he now goes into stage four tomorrow as the overall race leader. Not to mention, having the yellow jersey is a particularly big advantage in a race like Paris-Nice. “The roads are small so it’s always an advantage when you can be at the front. Hopefully he can hold onto it for a few more days and just enjoy every minute of it,” said Powless.
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