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"And even if I haven’t had an outstanding result in my two previous participations at La Marseillaise, I am not the type who simply wants to go out and show off the jersey.  At the very least, it will be a good race to find...

Photo: IAM Cycling

GRAND PRIX CYCLISTE LA MARSEILLAISE

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IAM CYCLING

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JEROME PINEAU

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KRISTOF GODDAERT

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MATTEO PELUCCHI

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RETO HOLLENSTEIN

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SYLVAIN CHAVANEL

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31.01.2014 @ 14:47 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After making a surprise move to the IAM team, Sylvain Chavanel is ready to make his debut in his new colours. The Frenchman will spearhead a strong IAM team in Sunday's GP La Marseillaise that will also be the scene for Jerome Pineau's first race with the Swiss team, and says that he wants more than just showing the jersey

 

It came as a surprise for many when Sylvain Chavanel left the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team and the WorldTour to sign a contract with the smaller IAM team. However, the Frenchman was keen to be the undisputed leader in the classics, a position that he could not be offered on a team that already has Tom Boonen in its ranks.

 

Chavanel is the major new signing for the Swiss team which is about to embark on its second season. After a successful first season that brought 12 victories and the chance to ride some of cycling's biggest races, the team has reinforced its roster by the signing of Chavanel, Jerome Pineau, Vicente Reynes, Roger Kluge, and Mathias Frank.

 

The squad is now ready for its first race which takes place on Sunday. The traditional opener of the European season, the GP la Marseillaise, will be the scene for its debut and will also mark Chavanel's first race in his new colours.

 

“I cannot wait to get to the start," he said. " Training is one thing, but I must admit that I much prefer competition.”

 

Chavanel has maintained his condition by doing some cyclo-cross races during the winter and he will find the hilly course around Marseille to his liking. The race has been won both from a breakaway or a sprint from a reduced group and suits aggressors like the former French champion.

 

 “It is an early season race that really helps everyone find his marks," sports director Eddy Seigneur said. " Since we don’t feel a lot of pressure, anything is possible.  Typically it’s true that La Marseillaise ends in a bunch sprint, but another alternative is for a large group to slip away and fight for victory that way.  The Col de La Ginestre acts as the place where any separation can be made, before the final push comes in the finishing straight.”

 

Happy in his first weeks with his new team, Chavanel, the current French time trial champion, wants to test himself before lining up at his first big goal of the season, which will be Paris-Nice. 

 

“I am delighted to start the season in France," he said. "That has not happened for a long time.  And even if I haven’t had an outstanding result in my two previous participations at La Marseillaise, I am not the type who simply wants to go out and show off the jersey.  At the very least, it will be a good race to find out where my condition is after our training camp.”

 

Chavanel will be joined by Pineau who will also do his first race in Marseille. The duo of newcomers will be joined by a number of fast finishers, with Sebastien Hinault, Kristof Goddaert and Matteo Pelucchi offering opportunities in case of a sprint finish.

 

The team is completed by allrounder Reto Hollenstein, Swiss talent Marcel Aregger and young Swiss climber Jonathan Fumeaux.

 

IAM Cycling for GP La Marseillaise:

Sylvain Chavanel, Jerome Pineau, Matteo Pelucchi, Sebastien Hinault, Kristof Goddaert, Reto Hollenstein, Marcel Aregger, and Jonathan Fumeaux

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