The 30-year-old Italian claimed his first top 3 finish of the season.
Mattia Cattaneo returned to competition for the first time since delivering a solid ride at the Tour de Romandie, pinning a number for the 84th Tour de Suisse, which got underway with a 10.9km individual time trial in Frauenfeld. The last Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider to roll down the ramp, Mattia demonstrated again his solid ITT capabilities and recorded a time of 12:15, just a couple of seconds behind winner Stefan Kung (Groupama-FDJ), a result that put him onto the podium at the end of the day.
“This time trial makes me really happy, as it shows that the work from the Sierra Nevada altitude training camp is already paying off. To get a podium in a World Tour race is the kind of result that gives you a lot of confidence, and coming on the first day of the race augurs well for the rest of the week. We came here with the ambition of taking a stage victory and we’re determined to give our best to achieve this goal”, said Cattaneo, the first Italian in four years to conclude a Tour de Suisse ITT in the top 3.
Deceuninck – Quick-Step had two other riders in the top 10 on stage 1, Jannik Steimle and Julian Alaphilippe. The World Champion made his debut at the race and produced a scorching ride that at one point saw him set the third-fastest time. When everything was done and dusted, he found himself in fifth place, an encouraging result in his first outing since April.
“It was a nice ITT and I’m happy. The first part was more technical and I did well there, while on the second one I lost some time as it was more suited to the power riders. But, as I said, I am satisfied and confident, because the legs felt good and I did my best. I came here after a training camp and it would be nice if I could be in the position to fight for a stage win at some point next week”, explained Julian.
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