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“The dream would have been to win the stage, but this third place allows IAM Cycling to finish its first grand tour of the season in style.  We were definitely motivated to succeed and get a win on this final stage."

Photo: IAM Cycling

GIRO D'ITALIA

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IAM CYCLING

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ROGER KLUGE

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31.05.2015 @ 21:48 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The Giro d’Italia finished with the anticipated overall victory of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo), though the final stage from Turin to Milan ended with the unexpected success of two escapees fighting for the win just seconds ahead of the peloton.  In the game of dead man’s poker that was played in the finishing straight, it was Iljo Keisse (Etixx-Quickstep) who proved the better bluffer ahead of Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEDGE). 

 

All the theatrics ended up being bitter sweet for the IAM Cycling team since they deprived Roger Kluge of a well-earned victory.  Indeed, the IAM Cycling rider had been very well placed by Sylvain Chavanel and Aleksejs Saramotins after the team had already suffered the untimely puncture that Heinrich Haussler had, hamstringing the Australian seven kilometers from the finish.  In the chaos, the IAM Cycling duo managed to drag the entire peloton within 9 seconds of the leading pair. 

 

Nevertheless, Kluge’s third place allowed the Swiss professional team to celebrate its fifth podium of the Giro.  Of course the main objective had been to get a stage victory, and though it was not achieved in the end, the performances that not only Chavanel, Pelucchi, and Reichenbach managed, but also Kluge, Haussler, (4th), and the entire team in the opening team time trial (6th), demonstrated the overall improvement and progression that the Swiss team has made over the past year. 

 

They were all smiles in the IAM Cycling camp after warm showers and nibbles, which meant that Roger Kluge was able to be very open and honest when analyzing his performance. 

 

“The dream would have been to win the stage, but this third place allows IAM Cycling to finish its first grand tour of the season in style.  We were definitely motivated to succeed and get a win on this final stage.  But of course, the team had its share of bad luck as well, with Heinrich Haussler and Clément Chevrier puncturing. 

 

"But in the end, Sylvain Chavanel and then Aleksejs Saramotins prove invaluable to me when trying to place me for the sprint.  I was in an ideal position, and was able to make use of my strength by swallowing up the small cobbled section just before the final straight, so I was able to stay in front. 

 

"I have suffered a lot in this Giro, which has been very mountainous with a constant, infernal pace every day.  The team showed incredible strength of character and fortitude by getting a lot of podium places in a race that we must remember above all last three weeks, practically without stop.  Today I can feel like I did not lose a stage, but won 3rd place.”

 

Kjell Carlström, one of the directeurs sportifs along with Rubens Bertogliati, wholeheartedly reiterated this sentiment when taking stock of the 2015 Giro. 

 

“We still managed to succeed in the face of bad luck.  Heinrich Haussler was well placed but then punctured at exactly the wrong moment.  Despite all the work the team had to do, they still performed perfectly. 

 

"We just haven’t had that much good fortune following us around ever since the start in San Lorenzo al Mare; we’ve just been missing that little extra boost of good luck so many times in decisive moments.  Our terrible luck started when the whole team basically crashed in the second stage, and then later on, several of our guys were forced to drop out due to various problems, including Stef Clement, Sébastien Reichenbach, Matteo Pelucchi and Jérôme Pineau.  Personally, I think we have improved immensely compared to how we performed at the 2014 Tour de France.”

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