IAM Cycling ambitious for its second season, wants invitations to both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France
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Monday, December 16, 2013

IAM Cycling ambitious for its second season, wants invitations to both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France

by Shane Stokes at 9:17 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Giro d'Italia
Swiss team bolstered by signings of Chavanel, Frank and others

Heinrich HausslerAlthough the team was passed over by the organisers of the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a España in its debut season in 2013, the IAM Cycling team has set the objective of riding not one but two Grand Tours in the upcoming year.

The Swiss squad has today unveiled the ambitious plans, saying that it would target rides in both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France. It has been in contact with the organisers of both, and was listed by RCS Sport last month as being one of the teams in the running for an invite.

Team manger Serge Beucherie says he believes that the team had a good first season in 2013 and was encouraged by its reception by organisers and others.

“For a first season in the peloton, we have built a reputation. Even with the Pro Continental status, we found ourselves on the centre stage at the World Tour events to which we received invitations, no matter whether they were one day races or longer tours,” he said.

“We finished with twelve victories and won the team classification for stage races three times. We had sixteen second place finishes and fourteen third places. I can unreservedly claim 2013 to be a good vintage.”

Importantly, the team has bolstered its lineup with the signing of one of the most respected Classics riders in the bunch, Frenchman Sylvain Chavanel. The Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde victor and Paris-Nice stage winner moves across from the Omega Pharma Quick Step team.

Given that he will more capacity to ride for himself in 2014, IAM Cycling has high expectations.

Also coming on board is BMC Racing Team rider Mathias Frank, who led the Tour de Suisse until the final day this year and also won stages in the USA Pro Challenge and Tour of Austria. They will be joined by Chavanel’s team-mate Jerome Pineau, Roger Kluge (NetApp Endura) and Vicente Reynes (Lotto Belisol).

Team founder Michel Thétaz said that the squad had lobbied RCS Sport to ride the Giro d’Italia, as well as other events such as Tirreno Adriatico and Milan-Sanremo.

“The other big objective of the season of course involves an invitation to the 2014 Tour de France,” he said, setting out what he believes is necessary to get the nod. “To accomplish that, we understand that we will have to earn our place with a strong performance in the early season tests, which include the one day Classics as well as the renowned stage races.”

The team’s victories included Thomas Lofkvist’s overall success in the Tour of the Mediterranean, Heinrich Haussler’s stage win in the Bayern Rundfarht, plus Martin Elmiger’s stage and overall in the Tour du Limousin.

Its riders also took national championship titles with Matthias Brandle (Austria TT), Gustav Erik Larsson (Swedish TT) and Aleksejs Saramotins (Latvian RR).

Thétaz speaks with hyperbole about the opening year; it’s clear he’s pleased with what his squad achieved and the return it got for his company, the title sponsor.

“In our first year we managed to earn sporting results which were nothing short of remarkable. And our expectations regarding the impact on the business of the parent company were substantially exceeded. It is not our intention to deviate from this good course.

“The more time that passes, the more prepared we will be to participate and succeed at all our races. With our 25 riders and a support staff of nearly 60 people, our operating structure parallels that of a World Tour team. According to feedback we’ve received and studies we’ve completed, I am convinced that we are at a level and ability to succeed in managing two Grand Tours in one season.”

The Giro d’Italia organisers will announce their wildcard selections for the race early next month. RCS Sport has confirmed to VeloNation that the decision will not be based on early racing results, but rather on the dossier that teams present to it and the arguments they put forward for their inclusion.

Tour de France selection will likely come later, though, and so IAM Cycling will seek to hit the ground running in 2014. It needs to convince ASO that it deserves a place in the sport’s biggest race and so a strong early season campaign will be vital. Chavanel, for one, will be central to that.


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