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"Now I need to concentrate on surviving the Mûr de Bretagne in order to be able to perform well for the team in the team time trial.  We are motivated to do well and help Mathias Frank move up as much as possible in the over...

Photo: Sirotti








10.07.2015 @ 22:17 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Without a yellow jersey in the peloton after the unfortunate abandonment of Tony Martin (Etixx-Quickstep) on the previous stage due to a fractured clavicle that he suffered in a crash at the finish in Le Havre, the rest of the pack in the Tour de France continued its march through the country.  Chris Froome did not take possession of the precious leader’s jersey before the finish in Fougères where Mark Cavendish (Etixx-Quickstep) took his first stage of this year’s Tour in the final meters just ahead of André Greipel (Lotto Soudal) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo). 


Under the sun and with pleasant temperatures, the IAM Cycling team worked well to protect its leader Mathias Frank as much as possible, especially since there are two important stages to come: first tackling the Mûr de Bretagne, and then the much anticipated team time trial on Sunday.  For today’s stage, Martin Elmiger was the best placed IAM Cycling rider, taking 44th position on a day reserved for the sprinters.


Reto Hollenstein continues to be the perfect teammate, and took the time to explain how they weathered the stage, which will be one of the last ones that sprinters can count on enjoying. 


“We tried to save ourselves, even if that is seldom an easy task at the Tour de France.  The nervousness returned to the group as we approached the finale, especially since we were flying at more than 50 km/h with a favorable wind.  In addition to that, there were many roundabouts, which can often be dangerous traps. 


"My sensations are getting better day by day; I have been suffering from the effects of my crash on the circuit in the opening time trial.  The medical team has taken very good care of me.  My wounds are well bandaged, and I just try to pedal without thinking about the pain. 


"Now I need to concentrate on surviving the Mûr de Bretagne in order to be able to perform well for the team in the team time trial.  We are motivated to do well and help Mathias Frank move up as much as possible in the overall.”


Rik Verbrugghe, the manager sportif assisted by his directeurs sportifs Eddy Seigneur and Mario Chiesa, was singing off the same song sheet as Hollenstein after the stage:


“It was important to be careful today and protect Mathias Frank, while still doing our best to save energy.  The guys had a day that was more or less pretty calm, but stress is ever-present at the Tour de France. 


"Now it is essential to get through this finish at the Mûr de Bretagne in a good position, since there are seconds there that we can certainly scrounge for Mathias.  The final there should suit him better. 


"I see the winner as a puncheur or coming from a small group, similarly to Le Havre.  But the climb is longer, and Cadel Evans was the last rider to win there.  IAM Cycling is determined not to miss out on this chance, and we will choose the right time to be on the offensive.”



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