The image is terrible and gives a glimpse of the violence of the shock. Victim of an accident in the last part of the time trial course of the European Cycling Championships, which took place on Wednesday in Drenthe (Netherlands), Stefan Küng crossed the finish line with a bloody face and body. His appearance is more like that of a gladiator than that of a runner. An impression reinforced by the condition of his helmet. Its protection, too, did not withstand the shock and is cracked, in pieces, on the upper part. Impressive!
Terrible fall of Stefan Küng, who loses all chance on the time trial of the European Championship while he was on the provisional podium at the intermediates!
Follow the race in full on L'Équipe live: https://t.co/icnqogyDWR #lequipeVELO #EuroRoad23 pic.twitter.com/OteYBIEFTZ
— THE TEAM (@lequipe) September 20, 2023
The scene took place in the final of the event. At the distance fight for the podium with the young British Joshua Tarling (19 years old) - finally crowned - and Wout van Aert, the Swiss of the Groupama-FDJ formation, in search of the best possible position, literally put his nose in the handlebars. He did not see the protective barriers on the left side of the road and hit them at full speed. The slide over several meters is violent.
I feel so bad for Stefan Küng. Hope he is ok 🙏 . He shouldn"t have continued like that... Look at his helmet 😱 . pic.twitter.com/sFhWlnpcw2
— Debby (@Debby_Drckx) September 20, 2023
Despite the pain, the Swiss rider, time specialist, double winner of the event in 2020 and 2021 and five-time Swiss champion, immediately gets up. He eventually finished the race in 11th position. If he did not win a 3rd continental title, he is the (unfortunate) hero of the day.