Küng hints that a new Wilier time trial bike is in the works ahead of Paris Olympic Games

'It'll be something nice' says Swiss TT star as he races a Wilier for first time at Volta ao Algarve season debut

Clock17:43, Wednesday 14th February 2024
Stefan Küng racing for the first time on a Wilier bike at the Volta ao Algarve

© Dario Belingheri / Velo Collection via Getty Images

Stefan Küng racing for the first time on a Wilier bike at the Volta ao Algarve

Stefan Küng has hinted at a possible new Wilier Triestina time trial bike that could be released before the Olympic Games in Paris.

The Swiss rider is a medal contender for the Summer Games and currently rides on Wilier’s Turbine SLR after the Italian brand linked up with Groupama-FDJ at the start of the year.

Speaking exclusively to GCN at the start of stage 1 of the Volta ao Algarve, the 30-year-old suggested that a new project was in the works and that he and the bike brand had enjoyed a budding relationship since the beginning of the year.

"In the beginning, you think that it’s going to be fine but then sometimes it’s not always easy. Normally a team has a stock of frames but when you move to a new brand you rely on the delivery," Küng said.

"Wilier has been great throughout the whole process and I’m actually really happy with the new set-up. Also, the motivation and support that they are showing for us is really helping."

Read more: A closer look at Groupama-FDJ's new Wilier Filante SLR

When asked if the new bike was faster than his previous bikes from when his team were sponsored by Lapierre, Küng laughed before giving just a few sneak details away.

"Something new is coming, let’s say. Until the summer there’s a new project that we’re working on. It’s going to be something nice. That’s all I can say for now. Further details will be released at a later date.

"With Wilier, they wanted a team that was really good on innovation and development and I think that’s why the partnership works really well. It’s a good relationship and it’s moving in the right direction."

GCN reached out to Wilier for comment with the Italian brand providing the following response: "We can confirm that Wilier is committed daily together with its sponsored World Tour teams, Astana and Groupama-FDJ, in developing increasingly high-performance bicycles. If there is news about new bikes, you will be among the first media to know."

New season, new set-up, new contract?

This week's Volta ao Algarve is Küng’s first competitive outing since a heavy fall at last year’s European time trial championships. His wounds have fully healed but he still has a plaster on his left cheek to protect a patch of newly formed skin from sunlight.

That aside, his off-season has gone well and the five-day race in Portugal gives the TT specialist the chance to test his legs with a 22km time trial on stage 4.

"The winter has been smooth. The end of the season wasn’t what I was hoping for with a crash and an injury but the rehab went really well, and the whole winter preparation was smooth, so I’m happy to start racing this week," Küng said.

Read more: Stefan Küng finishes European Championships ITT with a broken helmet after crash

"This a first check before the Tour and the first outing with the new set-up but I also know that the set-up between here and the Games... I still know that I have a little extra coming but this is still a good test and the goal on the start line is still to win. I’ve won twice here before."

Another topic of discussion surrounds Küng’s contract. He has a deal with Groupama-FDJ until the end of 2025 but he can listen to offers for next year and leave his current squad if the right one comes in. For now the focus is solely on racing and Küng appears content with his current squad.

“I feel really good where I am now so I’m focusing on the moment and not so much about the other thing. If I have everything I need then there’s no reason for me to look elsewhere," he told GCN.

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