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"This year my goal was to win as many races as possible as a team, next year it will be to do it as an individual. We will be back to seeing me in the role that you saw me have in the past. The desire and ambition are still there, othe...

Photo: OPQS / Tim de Waele






01.12.2013 @ 20:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

In 2014 Jerome Pineau will leave the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team to ride in IAM colours. After years of sacrificing himself for others, he wants to get back to winning bike races on his new team.


With a stage win in the Giro d'Italia, time in the polka-dot jersey in the Tour de France, wins in races like the Tour de l'Ain, Paris-Bourges and Clasica de Almeria and top 10 finishes in the Ardennes classics, Jerome Pineau was once known as one of the most successful French bike riders. With a fast finish and solid climbing legs on shorter ascents, he had all the potential to shine in some of the biggest races in the world.


Being part of one of cycling's major powerhouses has, however, forced him into a new role. In the past three years, he has seen himself work as a loyal domestique for riders like Mark Cavendish, Tom Boonen and close friend Sylvain Chavanel, often spending many hours on the front of the peloton reeling in escapes.


In 2014 he will leave his Belgian team to join the IAM squad that had a highly successful first season. Alongside Chavanel, he has been signed as major reinforcements of the team for its second season where the management hopes that the presence of two strong Frenchmen will earn them an invitation for the Tour de France.


While the change was first prompted by the decision of the Omega Pharma-Quick Step management not to renew his contract, the new situation also opens new doors for Pineau. In 2014 he plans to find back to the role as a winner that he once had.


"First of all, Omega Pharma-Quick Step where I raced for five years, didn't want to renew my contract," he told Velo101 when asked about the reasons for his change. "Moreover, I found the opportunity to ride for a team that I like and that gives me the opportunity to play my own card and a road captain role. I will also ride a bit more in France. I took the opportunity and I cannot thank Sylvain Chavanel who helped me in the search for a team, enough."


In 2013, Pineau got the chance to ride both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France but he had no room to play his own cards. Instead, he was asked to spend endless of hours on the front of the peloton.


"[I have experienced] a lot of good things. I was the teammate of a great champion," he said. "I respect Mark very much and he will always be my friend. Now I wanted to turn the page. I spent a year protecting Mark Cavendish and two years working for others. I want to finish my career by doing things on my own. This is the what I was offered at IAM Cycling.


"This year my goal was to win as many races as possible as a team, next year it will be to do it as an individual," he added. "We will be back to seeing me in the role that you saw me have in the past. The desire and ambition are still there, otherwise I should have retired."


Pineau is very happy that he will again be allowed to ride on the same team as Chavanel but it was never a given thing that they would remain teammates.


"We didn't need to although it was always out desire to continue our career together," he said. "Sometimes the situation doesn't allow it. With IAM Cycling, we were able to continue on the same team and we took the opportunity immediately."


Pineau last won a race in September 2011 when he triumphed in the GP Jef Scherens. Time will tell if he will add to that tally in 2014.



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