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“We tried to stay in a good position most of the time, but the last five kilometers were very tense and it was hard to give Jonas the right support.  He won yesterday and we all have great confidence in him."

Photo: IAM Cycling








29.07.2015 @ 20:14 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Anyone who thinks Belgium is pancake flat is going to have a big surprise.  With a finish at the steep summit of Thuin, which is a cobbled climb with around a 10% gradient, this last stage of the Tour of Wallonia acted as the final decider for the peloton.  After five grueling stages, it was young Danny Van Poppel who found the resources required to raise his arms in victory, a few seconds ahead of Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Matti Breschel (Saxo-Tinkoff).  For IAM Cycling, Jonas Van Genechten, well supported by his teammates, raced very strongly in spite of the fact that the terrain was not entirely favorable to his characteristics, and ended this fifth stage in 15th place.


With his confidence high after his victory the day before, the Belgian Van Genechten met a formidable obstacle when having to tackle the Thuin climb.  Happily, especially because the final climb was so difficult, Van Genechten could still rely on the flawless support of his IAM Cycling teammates. 


“The last climb was not very long, but it was a complicated circuit that led up to it with lots of the turns and descents to manage before starting the climb,” road captain Dries Devenyns explained.  “We tried to stay in a good position most of the time, but the last five kilometers were very tense and it was hard to give Jonas the right support.  He won yesterday and we all have great confidence in him.  But then again, everyone in the pack wanted to win, and there was a lot of argy-bargy. 


"When speaking about the more general growth of the team, we did not have a great start to this race.  Everyone was relatively fit, but we knew that finding a good team spirit would be the key to victory, and that worked. 


"As for my own physical condition, I feel that things are getting better little by little and I am nearing my best level.  I am happy to go home with such good feelings.”


The riders showered, with suitcases in the car ready to leave, the team had certainly built up a special atmosphere throughout the race.  When everyone said short good-byes to each other, the inherent friendship became apparent.  Thierry Marichal was prepared to assess the Swiss team’s performance at the Tour of Wallonia. 


“The first three stages were pretty grim,” Marichal, a former winner of the event, explained.  “But we managed to remobilize the troops to the point where we won the stage yesterday.  And today we can take stock of the positive work that we have done.  What was also interesting was that the boys were able to recover after a difficult start, and this is very important so I definitely want to emphasize it.”



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