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"This victory is a tremendous relief for me, especially since there are not a lot of opportunities to win remaining this season.  It takes a lot of the pressure off."

Photo: IAM Cycling






02.10.2015 @ 21:16 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Belgium has often smiled on IAM Cycling in general and Jonas Van Genechten in particular.  His first success of the season came in July at the Tour de Wallonie.  Now he has once again had the opportunity to raise his arms in triumph at the finish on Friday in Poperinge for the Eurométropole Tour. 


On the heels of extraordinary team work, and in spite of the abandonment of Aleksejs Saramotins in the middle of the stage, Jonas Van Genechten dominated the sprint, surpassing both Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Soudal) and Louis Verhelst (Cofidis).  Completely in control in the final straight, Van Genechten chalked up IAM Cycling’s fourteenth victory of the season. Alexis Gougeard (AG2R La Mondiale), who finished in the peloton, retains his lead in the overall classification. 


Jonas Van Genechten celebrates his victories quietly.  He does not shout out, though by raising his arms in a victory salute, the Belgian sprinter is keen to indicate that he has crossed the line first.  But his silence in victory does not imply he is ungenerous when thanking his teammates.  Immediately after crossing the line, Van Genechten drops his bike and looks to hug and thank all his colleagues who were so essential to the result.  This is more than a victory of one rider; it is a collective success earned by the entire Swiss team. 


“To be quite honest, after the first stage, we were clearly still not satisfied, hungry for more,” Van Genechten confided.  “We were disappointed.  With the team that we have brought here, we have the strength and talent to accomplish great things.  Last night we had a small meeting to talk precisely about how we can change and improve in our approach to the finish. 


"And it turns out that that focus has paid off.  Everything worked perfectly on Friday.  The team sacrificed themselves 100% for me.  This victory is a tremendous relief for me, especially since there are not a lot of opportunities to win remaining this season.  It takes a lot of the pressure off.  


"After I missed yesterday's sprint, I really wanted to rectify this with the team. My team did it perfectly for the win. We came to lend a hand to Lotto-Soudal and AG2r La Mondiale. Henrich Haussler led me out perfectly. I was a bit surprised when Jurgen Roelandts launched from afar, but I was able to get back on the other side of the road. It is a victory of relief. In addition, we are well positioned overall. I think that makes it a good Tour Eurométropole for IAM so far. Now we have to continue this momentum over the next two days. "


"Now I would like to ride for my teammates, for instance for Sondre Holst Enger.  He sacrificed himself for me these past two days, and I would like to return the favor.


In cycling, success is never built by one alone.  And this devotion to the collective is something that Rik Verbrugghe, the IAM Cycling team’s sports manager, was pleased to highlight. 


“The display we saw over the Belgian roads on Thursday was not entirely to my liking,” Verbrugghe, himself the winner of the 2001 Flèche Wallonne, admitted.  “But things changed for the better, and today I saw a group acting like a real team for this second stage.  Just before entering the hilly section, about ten kilometers from the finish, the peloton split in half, and we could see that the IAM Cycling jersey was well represented at the front of the pack.  They took the race by the scruff of the neck.  They made no mistakes, and they worked at the highest level.  I am proud of all of them and of Jonas Van Genechten.”



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