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"Fortunately, I managed to keep in touch with each acceleration on the climbs.  This is encouraging, and if I was not able to fight for a good position in the end, it is more from lack of experience than from confidence."

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TOUR DU HAUT VAR

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21.02.2015 @ 21:42 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Ben Gastauer (AG2R–La Mondiale) pulled off a great ride in the first stage of the Tour du Haut-Var.  A member of the early breakaway, the Frenchman won solo with just a handful of second to spare between him and the hard-charging peloton.  The reduced main group contained three IAM Cycling riders, Jonathan Fumeaux, Larry Warbasse and Clément Chevrier, all of whom managed to stay with the main pack in spite of the terrible conditions that they faced all day long.  
 
Protected along with Jonathan Fumeaux, Patrick Schelling and Larry Warbasse with eyes on the general classification, Clément Chevrier succeeded in meeting the expectations of his team.  The young 22 year old rider from Picardy finished in the main pack on the heels of the day’s winner.  

 

“The most difficult thing was not the parcours, but the weather today.  It’s really important to know how to protect yourself from the cold, wind, and rain.  Personally, I’ve never worn this many layers. And I also had to make sure to rub myself down with an embrocation balm, which is still burning me after the stage. 

 

"Fortunately, I managed to keep in touch with each acceleration on the climbs.  This is encouraging, and if I was not able to fight for a good position in the end, it is more from lack of experience than from confidence.  But on Sunday, the difficulty of the stage will be greater and the climbs will be longer.  And then there will be the big climb 15 kilometers from the finish.  So it will be a stage for the punchy climbers.”
 
Rubens Bertogliati, directeur sportif for IAM Cycling, emphasized the adverse weather conditions that the riders faced the entire stage. 

 

“The weather was really bad with rain, wind and cold all day.  This is not to take away from the merits of the winner, who had a fantastic performance.  The peloton tried to bring him back at the end, but in vain. 

 

"For our part, we counted on Holst Enger, Pellaud and Tanner to join the right break.  Unfortunately, David found himself on the ground at the wrong moment.  The riders who are protected for the overall have done their jobs well today, since they were able to end with the same time as the rest of the favorites.  But on Sunday, the race will be much more difficult with many climbs, especially the final one, which should make a proper selection.  According to the information that I have, the weather will be better and that should allow us to have a good race.”

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