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“I am not a champion; after all I finished second to last in the sprint.  But seriously, everything worked really well for me today.  The team once again worked amazingly well together."

Photo: Sirotti






12.04.2015 @ 20:10 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Already the winner this year at La Primavera, John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) added another monument of cycling to his mantelpiece by conquering Paris-Roubaix, under wonderful spring sunshine.  The German left nothing to chance, out-sprinting his final companions in the Roubaix velodrome, among whom included the redoubtable Martin Elmiger. 


The current Swiss national champion managed to snag a superb 5th place in the final sprint.  IAM Cycling was prominent throughout the race largely due to the monumental effort Aleksejs Saramotins made by powering the day’s main break.  The Latvian impressed everyone with his strength as he gapped all his companions riding through the legendary Arenberg trench. After more than 210 kilometers off the front, Saramotins, who now makes his home in Nice, still managed to take 13th place among all the race favorites.
Martin Elmiger received a hero’s welcome, not only by Michel Thétaz, CEO of IAM Funds and founder of the team, but also by all his teammates and members of staff, when he arrived at the team bus after the race.  Yet Elmiger still managed to find the joke when explaining the tactics he adopted in the final. 


“I am not a champion; after all I finished second to last in the sprint.  But seriously, everything worked really well for me today.  The team once again worked amazingly well together.  I did not suffer any punctures, and just had to deal with a small mechanical early one, so I was able to rejoin the front of the race before the real fighting began.  


"In the end, I opted to count on Boom taking his sprint from far out, which didn’t happen.  But still, I am very happy with 5th place.  I did ride into the velodrome with the group vying for the win.  In the last few kilometers, I just had to hang on because I was pretty burnt.”


Never having finished better than 13th before in the Hell of the North, Elmiger, who comes from Zug in central Switzerland, is not yet ready to put a period to his spring classics campaign. 


“Given how well I felt today, and the fact I was 10th in the Tour of Flanders to add to my 5th in Roubaix, I am ready to take my chances next week at the Amstel Gold Race.  I have always enjoyed that race, even if it has never really smiled on me.  I have often figured in the group of favorites coming into the final, but luck has never been on my side.  So I will do my best to recover well this week, and then try once again to play for the win.”
Having come to encourage his riders in the race between Compiègne and Roubaix, Michel Thétaz was very moved at the end of the event. 


“I really enjoyed this race from start to finish.  When Aleksejs Saramotins emerged all alone from the Arenberg trench, I was in shock.  And I was really vibrating with excitement when I saw Martin Elmiger enter the velodrome with the group of riders playing for the win. 


"For me this 5th place is like a victory.  It allows IAM Cycling to demonstrate the level it has reached in the space of two years.  With Saramotins as the man of the day and Elmiger getting a top result, but also with the efforts of the other riders too, all of whom were working in solidarity during this war over the cobbles, I can only be proud, and feel the emotions of this overall performance.”   



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