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"I had a lot of pressure since the beginning of the season, and now all that has been released.  This victory frees me, much more than I would have thought."

Photo: IAM Cycling






28.07.2015 @ 20:59 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The good weather in the end returned to Belgium.  After a day drenched with cold temperatures and heavy rain, the sun shone again, literally and figuratively, after Jonas Van Genechten crossed the finish line as the winner of the fourth stage of the Tour of Wallonia.  The IAM Cycling sprinter was well supported by his teammates, especially Dries Devenyns and Pirmin Lang, and brought the team some much needed success at the Tour de Wallonie.


With his victor’s bouquet of flowers in hand and trophy under his arm, the Belgian sprinter savored his success at the finish line.  His first impulse of course was to thank all his teammates and family.  Then finally he could take a quiet moment alone so that he could reflect on his accomplishment. 


“There was a lot of stress throughout the day,” Van Genechten explained.  “There was a strong headwind for the sprint, but the team supported me completely from the beginning to end.  We had been edged out up till now, but I had the conviction to try and do something special.  I had a lot of pressure since the beginning of the season, and now all that has been released.  This victory frees me, much more than I would have thought.


"This is a region that has always been successful for me. It was the case again today. I am proud to win here. I am also very happy because there was a lot of pressure on the team. We must say we had missed out several times since the start of the race. We had a revenge to take. That's why we took control in the finale and the team has managed the last metres perfectly.


"This sprint was far from easy. We had a headwind on a straight road of 1.5 kilometers. I was very good and I really waited until the last moment to go. How do I feel? A little excited and relieved,"


" I really wanted to score a goal," he told Directvelo. "I never doubted. However, when I started doing sprints for at the Tour of Bavaria, Tour of Belgium, Dauphine, I saw that my legs were good but I still did not manage to finish it off. If I continued like that until the end of the season, I was going to be frustrated and make more mistakes in the sprints. This victory is a relief, it removes all the pressure that I have accumulated since the beginning of the season."


"I had to do everything not to miss this opportunity. I have calculated everything down to the final 500 meters, where I took Boonen's wheel optimally in order to do my effort without being boxed in or having to brake." 


Like last year, he had to wait until the second half of the season before taking his first win at the Tour of Poland. Nonetheless, the former Lotto-Belisol rider always aims at the spring.


"Every year, I try to be fit for the classics," he told Directvelo. "I'm not bad but never 100%. From June to July, I begin to be improve to be on top usually in September. But I can not find any explanation. 


"Winning is good for morale, for the head. Then you can do things without thinking too much. "Thinking excessively is not good. " 


His program now takes him to the roads of the Eneco Tour, Vattenfall Cyclassics and the GP Plouay. There will be no Vuelta. He had hoped, to participate in his first grand tour, the Tour de France in July. But IAM manager Rik Verbrugghe preferred a team to support climber Mathias Fränk.


"I wanted to participate in the Tour," he admitted. "But I saw at the Dauphiné I was a bit limited in the mountains. So I took a rest and then to it was not bad to come here for this race."


The Swiss team had been hoping, almost expecting a victory ever since the start of the race: 


“This morning at the briefing with Kjell Carlström, he and I really pushed the point,” directeur sportif Thierry Marichal explained.  “We’d been a little lost in recent days, so we decided to play the Jonas Van Genechten card 100% since we were sure this was a stage that suited him. 


"At the first sprint in Bassenge he was missing some small something extra because he was a little nervous.  Today we reassured him and found that unified spirit that defines the IAM Cycling Team, and as a result we were very successful.  In cycling, when you are alone, you can’t do much.  We worked on the cohesion of the group, and we are reaping the harvest.”



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