Israel – Premier Tech Roland put on a strong showing in the individual time trial on stage 2 of the Tour de Suisse Women with Anna Kiesenhofer and Claire Steels finishing sixth and seventh respectively.

Kiesenhofer smashed the course to set a new best time by more than four minutes which saw her sit in the hot seat for most of the day.

I am quite happy with the time trial. It is a discipline I really like. For me, it was a solid performance, not exceptional, but more or less where I usually am. I’m glad it went well and I didn’t have any problems,” explained Kiesenhofer.

After setting the provisional fastest time at the first check point, Claire Steels was pleasantly surprised with her time trial.

It’s not my favourite discipline but it’s quite a fun course with a few hills which I compare to a completely flat course. I’m happy to have it done but it was probably more fun than I expected. I had a rough power number in mind and tried to stick to that. Admittedly I probably went out a bit hot at the start and then tried to real it back in again and use the descents to recover,” said Steels.

I’m looking forward to the next two stages and hopefully will get a couple of top-tens. But really I’m using this race as preparation for the Nationals and the Tour de France Femmes in a few weeks. Any of the stages could be decisive which makes this race really exciting but I think the time trial will play a huge part in deciding the GC. With the big time gaps from today, we will see some explosive days coming up.”

Steels now sits 10th on GC ahead of the final two stages.