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“For it to be any different would be unthinkable.  Racing at home is at once very special and enjoyable.  I’ll certainly give my best, and then we’ll just have to see what happens."

Photo: Sirotti

DRIES DEVENYNS

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IAM CYCLING

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JARLINSON PANTANO

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JEROME COPPEL

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MARCEL WYSS

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MATHIAS FRANK

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OLIVER ZAUGG

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RETO HOLLENSTEIN

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TOUR DE ROMANDIE

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VICENTE REYNES

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21.04.2016 @ 22:25 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Mathias Frank will lead IAM in their home race, Tour de Romandie.

 

“The culmination of my whole involvement with IAM Cycling would be to win at the Tour of Romandie or the Tour of Switzerland,” enthused Michel Thétaz, founder of IAM, when he was discussing the team’s first major goal of the 2016 season.  “We came very close to doing just that in 2014 where Mathias Frank took 2nd place at the Tour of Switzerland.  For us, stage races are given a high priority because they suit our team culture well.  It would be fantastic to win in our own back garden with our strengths like patience as well as pugnacity.”

 

Michel Thétaz sets the tone when talking about searching for a co-sponsor for the 2017 season. 

 

“The Tour of Romandie is not the end all goal.  We must shine well and as often as possible in all events on the World Tour calendar.”

 

“As a child growing up in the great Saint-Bernard region, I had the chance to see all the caravans of the Giro, the Tour de France as well as the Tour of Romandie pass by,” Thétaz, feeling the emotion, explained.  “We would go down to Martigny to see the champions of our time pass by or we would watch them compete on the climbs that were anything but easy.”

 

“Our goal is to achieve something special.  And this is a very achievable goal and understandably brings pressure when it comes to racing in the Tour of Romandie,” Mathias Frank commented. “For it to be any different would be unthinkable.  Racing at home is at once very special and enjoyable.  I’ll certainly give my best, and then we’ll just have to see what happens.”

 

Given time to rest after the Circuit de Sarthe (April 5-8), Mathias Frank has not been idle. 

 

“I trained very well at home.  I felt very good in my last official training ride. So far luck has not been on our side, but I have the legs.  And I will not have the excuse that I am lacking rhythm.  Counting from the beginning of the year, I have clocked up 3588 kilometers in 23 days of racing.”

 

"The Tour of Romandie is really a very difficult race,” says Frank who took eight place at the 2015 Tour de France.  “The best stage race riders in the world have always used it to test their mettle.  In addition, this year the organizers have decided to make it a little bit harder even than usual with a prologue, an individual time trial as well as two summit finishes.”

 

Mathias Frank has not won a race since May 29, 2014.  On that day, the IAM Cycling leader won the 2nd stage of the Tour of Bavaria that finished in Reit im Winkl.

 

For his seventh participation in the race around Romandie, which includes five editions where he managed to finish, Frank, a 29 year old rider from Lucerne, will try to top his best result at the race which was when he took 4th place as a member of the IAM Cycling team in 2014.  His previous rankings at the event are: 86th in 2008, 12th in 2009, 43rd in 2010, and 12th in 2015.

 

As usual, the weather could still help to make the race even more selective for this 70th edition of the Tour of Romandie.  Whether we’re at La Chaux-de-Fonds, located at 1000 meters above sea level, for the prologue, or we’re talking about the two summit finishes that will arrive at Morgins and Villars, the possibility of low temperatures, snow flurries and/or rain is unfortunately never to be excluded at this time of year.

 

Though he comes from the Zurich region, Oliver Zaugg has lived in the Ticino region of Switzerland with his family for years.  The winner of the 2011 Giro di Lombardia, Zaugg has been called up to race the Tour of Romandie this year as a replacement for Stef Clement. The Dutch rider and team road captain was forced out of the Tour of Romandie on account of a broken collarbone that he suffered in a crash at least week’s Amstel Gold Race.

 

Richard Chassot, organizer of the Tour de Romandie, and Bernard Wütrich, technical manager, have prepared an extremely challenging version for this 70th edition of the race, with a total distance of 712.06 kilometers and an altitude gain of 10,140 meters on tap.  If the prologue at La Chaux-de-Fonds will have a mere 72 meter gain, the queen stage between Conthey and Villars will require 3311 meters of climbing while the route from Moudon to Morgins will have just under 2804 meters on the menu.

 

Line-up

Jérôme Coppel (F)

Dries Devenyns (Bel)

Mathias Frank (S)

Reto Hollenstein (S)

Jarlinson Pantano (Col)

Vicente Reynes (Esp)

Marcel Wyss (S)

Oliver Zaugg (S)

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