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"In the end, we did have a mass sprint, but we did not get the result we would have necessarily wanted today.  Tenth is great for Pelucchi, and for the team, but we still hoped to do much better."

Photo: IAM Cycling

IAM CYCLING

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KUURNE-BRUXELLES-KUURNE

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MATTEO PELUCCHI

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ROGER KLUGE

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01.03.2015 @ 19:55 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The pavés were not the only difficulty of this year’s Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.  The wind also played a major role in the race on Sunday.  It all was not enough, however, to stop Mark Cavendish (Etixx - Quick Step).  Finding redemption and revenge after their Het Nieuwsblad debacle, Cavendish’s team was able to guide him to victory on the finishing straight in Belgium.  For the IAM Cycling team, Matteo Pelucchi availed himself well with a 10th place in Kuurne, while Jonas Van Genechten ended in 16th place.
 
Even if the Swiss professional team did not manage a victory this weekend in Belgium, they have not had an entirely disappointing time, far from it. 

 

“It all went relatively well, even if the results are not stellar,” Eddy Seigneur explained at the finish line.  “Roger Kluge was in the front after the first climbs, especially the Kwaremont. The downside was that there were still strong sprinters in his group, so the team nevertheless drove the pace from behind to have the chance for a bunch finish with either Matteo Pelucchi or Jonas Vangenechten.  

 

"In the end, we did have a mass sprint, but we did not get the result we would have necessarily wanted today.  Tenth is great for Pelucchi, and for the team, but we still hoped to do much better.  It is a finish for the sprinters, and frankly we would have liked to have been better positioned coming into the final stretch.  That of course would have been better for Matteo.  The wind made for a nervous race, but then nothing really concrete happened because of it.”
 
IAM Cycling had riders at the front for the final sprint, but the jersey was also prominent in the day’s main break thanks to Roger Kluge’s efforts.  Kluge was front and center in a strong group that included Tom Boonen, Ian Stannard, Sep Vanmarcke, Zdenek Stybar as well as Alexander Kristoff. 

 

“I was happy to be in that group,” Kluge confirmed.  “I was pleased to be in the company of such strong riders.  But with the headwind that we had, the pack was inevitably too strong to hope to stay away.  Add to that the fact that not everyone in the group had the same goal.  Some wanted to ride, others did not.  Therefore, the peloton was able to bring us back.

 

"From then on, I was not feeling that great, so I put myself at the service of the others.  We talked together and Matteo told me he felt good, so we said okay, we will work for Matteo.  But five kilometers from the finish he told us he had cramps.  So we changed our plans and worked for Jonas Van Genechten.  By that time, just Martin [Elmiger] and I were riding for them, and I think it was not enough to prepare for the final.  Matteo finished 10th, which is good, but I think we were not the best team in the final.”

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