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"Since October I have been busy with the planning for 2015. I strongly believe in the team. We are ready for to take a step forward. The number of victories must go up."






12.12.2014 @ 11:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Yesterday IAM presented its roster for the new cycling season. In 2015, Rik Verbrugghe will join the team as sports manager and he has played a key role in picking the many new signings.


Rik Verbrugghe made the transition from the BMC development team. He explains the sporting plans of IAM Cycling. "The team is partly built around Mathias Frank for the stage races and partly around Heinrich Haussler and Sylvain Chavanel for the classics," he tells Sporza



"My own role goes beyond the one of team leader. I will be the glue between the team leaders and the sponsor vision sponsor. Since October I have been busy with the planning for 2015. I strongly believe in the team. We are ready for to take a step forward. The number of victories must go up."


Verbrugghe counts on new signing Jonas Vangenechten to add to the list of victories. "I have insisted on his arrival. He is a rider who can finish it off. He is fast on the line and I count on him to achieve more victories," Verbrugghe says.



"The entire pressure is not on him but we believe in him. He will not be asked to do lead-outs for others but will get his own chances. He is the man for the sprints."



Last season Jonas Vangenechten rode for Lotto-Belisol but despite being proposed an improved contract, he decided to join IAM Cycling. "It was a good decision," he tells Sporza. "Here I can take my own chances a lot more.



"I have a lot of enthusiasm for the new season. I have been in Switzerland for four days and the atmosphere in the team is very good. It is like a family. I am happy with my move. We are already working for next season. We have tested all the equipment in Belgium and checked some of the climbs of the Flemish classics.


"The fact that the team expects me to achieve more victories doesn't add additional pressure. It's not that they will only look at me. There are other guys who can win. It makes me happy that I get the trust and am allowed to take my own opportunities."


Dries Devenyns will be an important rider in the Flemish races. He remains modest about his role. "I like to be a leader but the team also knows that I will never be a rider who wins five races every year," he says.


"But the Flemish classics are my races. I love them and I want to be there from the Omloop to the Amstel Gold Race. If everything goes well, I can win a classic. Johan Vansummeren does not win a lot but he has a nice Paris-Roubaix on his palmares."



"He was the missing link in our team for the classics," Verbrugghe says about Devenyns. "We have to work like one big strong block in the spring classics. Dries has the experience, the knowledge and the power to be there at the finish."


Another important signing is Belgian climber Thomas Degand.


"I think he has been undervalued," Verbrugghe says. "He is a rider who has to ride for a big team but he has not always been given the opportunity that he deserves. By us, he will be in the right place. He climbs well and will support our GC rider Mathias Frank."



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