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"Then Jonas led me out perfectly; he did a terrific job trying to launch me. So I am naturally a little disappointed because all these great riders made sacrifices for me, and I could only manage second place. That’s a good resul...

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04.10.2015 @ 18:14 Posted by Andy Pedersen

IAM Cycling would have liked to have finished the Eurométropole Tour with a victory, topping off a fantastic week. And it came within a few centimeters of doing so: in the final stage between Mons and Tournai its young sprinter Sondre Holst Enger nearly nabbed his win. The Norwegian sprinter, well supported by his teammates, was only bested by Jonas Ahlstrand (Cofidis) in the lunge for the line.

 

However, there are no regrets for the Swiss professional team, which finishes the race with the lead in the team classification as well as Matthias Brändle, Dries Devenyns, and Reto Hollenstein ranked in fourth, sixth, and seventh, respectively, in the overall classification.  On top of the leader board, Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale) retained his position won in the opening prologue.

 

Youth is molded into experience over the endless trials and kilometers on the road. Still a novice when it comes to the argy-bargy nature of sprinting, Sondre Holst Enger has nevertheless managed to win a stage this year in the Tour of Austria and has placed very highly in other races during mass sprints for the line. Each day, too, he takes away just a little more experience and confidence. 

 

“The last sprint was again very nervous because everyone of course wanted to play their chances,” Holst Enger explained. “With Jonas Van Genechen, we were on Heinrich Haussler’s wheel but it was hard to keep the position. Then Jonas led me out perfectly; he did a terrific job trying to launch me. So I am naturally a little disappointed because all these great riders made sacrifices for me, and I could only manage second place. That’s a good result, but being so close to the win…

 

"When I am in good condition, the small climbs like we had on Sunday in the final circuit do not bother me. I am a sprinter, but climbs that aren’t too intense will not cripple me. Now I will turn my attention to Binche-Chimay-Binche, my next race on Tuesday. There are only two races to go for me this season, but I really want to have another victory.”

 

As far as the sports management is concerned, the conclusions that can be drawn from the five days of competition are largely positive. Thierry Marichal, directeur sportif alongside Mario Chiesa at the Eurométropole Tour, is satisfied with his riders and the attitude they had throughout the race. 

 

“We dominated the first prologue in a rather impressive way, including placing three riders in the top five,” Marichal explained. “We then fought to keep that trio in the top-10, but now I can say that this Sunday, we did managed to do just that. We also won a stage with Jonas Van Genechen. And with that victory I think we have shown that we are a strong team, a very strong team, in fact. So the outcome of this race is quite positive. We had a great mentality and it allowed us to put ourselves in the mix of the battle throughout this race.”

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