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"Bad luck was on our side, though, since both Matthias Brändle and Jonathan Fumeaux crashed even before the actual departure.  It was therefore really hard to have a rider ready to choose the right break."

Photo: IAM Cycling

IAM CYCLING

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MATTHIAS BRÄNDLE

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RETO HOLLENSTEIN

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TOUR DE ROMANDIE

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01.05.2015 @ 21:16 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The rain was constant on the roads between La Neuveville and Fribourg for the 4th stage of the Tour of Romandie.  Appalling conditions with buckets of rain accompanied by violent wind and cold covered the day.   This did not prevent Stefan Küng (BMC) from succeeding in taking a fantastic solo victory.  A member of a break along with five other riders, the great Swiss hope took off on his own with 30 kilometers to go to the finish.  For his part, Michael Albasini (Orica GreenEDGE) retained his yellow jersey as the overall leader on the eve of the queen stage leading to Champex-Lac. 

 

For IAM Cycling, this stage proved to be the least complicated despite an early crash that Matthias Brändle and Jonathan Fumeaux suffered at the start do to billboards being blown wild by the gusty winds.  Both riders were still able to take continue the race and finish the stage, where Fumeaux was also able to defend his green jersey of the points classification for the third day.
 
Playing his accustomed role as model team player, Reto Hollenstein did not spare himself while working for his leaders.  The lanky rider from the Thurgau region in Switzerland was smiling when he arrived back at the team bus after the stage. 

 

“All’s well that ends well.  It was necessary to remain attentive throughout the day with this terrible weather in the Jura.  But it is our job to race in all conditions even when it’s dangerous.  Everyone was nervous in the peloton because the roads were very slippery and sometimes the gusts would catch you off-guard. 

 

"I was determined to help Mathias Frank and Jarlinson Pantano stay well protected near the front of the peloton.  We needed to protect them as much as possible in order so that they could save their strength for the stage to Champex.  It was not all that easy of a task considering the rain and cold.  But we managed to accomplish our goal.”
 
Rik Verbrugghe, directeur sportif along with Thierry Marichal, was satisfied with the efforts of his riders after the stage, though he was sorry that the team didn’t have anyone in the break. 

 

“I told the guys that the breakaway would likely survive considering the conditions.  And that proved to be true, as Stefan Küng, who I directed on the BMC espoirs team, demonstrated.  Bad luck was on our side, though, since both Matthias Brändle and Jonathan Fumeaux crashed even before the actual departure.  It was therefore really hard to have a rider ready to choose the right break. 

 

"But above all I will remember all the good from this day.  Most importantly, our leaders did not lose any time on the favorites before they must show themselves on the difficult climb to Champex-Lac.”

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