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IAM riders to use remainder of current season to secure contract with other teams as cycling goes through tough times.

Photo: Sirotti






26.05.2016 @ 10:44 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

In Wednesday’s stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia, IAM’s German sprinter Roger Kluge clipped off the front inside the final kilometre to clinch victory. Kluge's victory was IAM Cycling's first at a Grand Tour in its four-year history and arrived just 48 hours after founder Michel Thetaz confirmed that the team will fold at the conclusion of the current season.


Kluge's win resonated well with team mate Heinrich Haussler.


"It’s been a tough Giro so far. We tried and tried in the sprints but it never worked. With the news of the team stopping, it was the perfect hit back from Roger. We all have our future in our hands and Roger did he job today," Haussler told Cyclingnews. "It's amazing. If there's one guy who deserves to win, it's Roger. He was trying to help but then had the legs to win the stage himself. He was super, super strong in the final kilometre," said Haussler, who rolled home in 15th.


While evidently lamenting the demise of his current employer, Haussler also praised Thetaz for coming clear as soon as possible to provide riders with a chance to prove themselves during the remainder of the current season and thus secure a contract with another team for the 2017 season.


Haussler and his IAM Cycling teammates were informed of Thetaz's decision to end his sponsorship and disband the squad during Monday's rest day, though the news had been in the air for some time.


"Last year, Michel said he'd make a decision in the May, so we knew that some news was coming. We were hoping for the best and tried to stay positive and work hard in the hope that team would continue in some way," Haussler told Cyclingnews at the start in Molveno. "But it's good of Michel to tell us now, in May, because there's still a lot of races to go, still time to put ourselves out there and find a new team.

"It is bad news for the IAM team but it's bad news for cycling in general. The Tinkoff team is likely to stop, too, and maybe others so there's going to be a lot of riders and staff out there without jobs in the future."


Like the rest of his IAM teammates, Haussler will be looking to make the best of the rest of the season. He will forego the Tour de Suisse and Tour de France in order to focus on preparing for the one-day races in the latter part of the year, culminating with the World Championships in Doha in October. His next race after the Giro is likely to be the Tour de Pologne.


Haussler was understanding, too, of Thetaz's decision to put an end to his investment in professional cycling. "It's coming out Michel’s own pocket. When you think how much money he's put in over the last four years, you have to take your hat off to him," he said. "If I had that much money, I'd probably do something different with it."




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