Faulkner accelerated into the general classification lead on the second day of the four-stage Tour de Suisse after Sunday’s time trial. She took the win on the stage, sharing the podium with teammates Georgia Williams and Georgia Baker. After a solid finish in the peloton on stage 3, Faulkner went into the final stage with the leader’s jersey.
Tuesday’s battle for the GC victory between Faulkner and Lucinda Brand was extremely tight. After time bonus seconds were served on the climbs and sprints during stage four, only two second separated the two riders. On a descent into the final climb of the race, rain began to fall. Brand and another rider got away, pulling a 50-second lead on the chasing group (including Faulkner). At the base of the climb, with 6km to go, Faulkner began to reel in the now solo Brand. As she approached the top, Faulkner had caught Brand with 1km to go in the pouring rain. As the duo raced to the finish line, a tight final corner in slick conditions caused Falkner to slide out and loose her chance at both the stage and GC win.
“It was all up to the final climb and Kristen had an awesome ride,” said Alejandro Gonzalez-Tablas, Sport Director. “She was able to catch Brand on the last kilometer, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to drop her, and unfortunately, she crashed on the final corner. But it was a good day, and a really strong performance by the team. We’re now looking forward to the next races.”