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"In the end, I think I still lack a little punch which would have been needed for a more satisfactory result.  But overall, I think I did a good race, in fact the whole team did for that matter.”  

Photo: IAM Cycling






22.04.2015 @ 19:13 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Alejandro Valverde climbed his wall.  By winning his second consecutive Flèche Wallonne, and third Flèche in total, the rider on Movistar becomes the third rider to win at the top of the Mur de Huy two years in a row.  Previously Marcel Kint and Moreno Argentin had been the only riders able to accomplish this feat.  Again in the fight at the finish with the best in the peloton, Mathias Frank and Sébastien Reichenbach were able to shine in the Belgian race wearing the IAM Cycling colors.  And even if neither could manage a spot in the top-10, their performances are very encouraging for the future races.
It is no secret that in order to win the Flèche Wallonne, you have to be a climber; but not only that, you need to be a climber who packs a punch. Mathias Frank does indeed possess these qualities, but it’s not always easy to harness them after a long period of training.  


“I always tried to be in the right position,” the Swiss rider explained.  “In the end, I was not bad, but I think I am missing some race pace after three weeks without competition.  On the Mur de Huy, I was on my limit.  I gave the best of myself.  In the end, I think I still lack a little punch which would have been needed for a more satisfactory result.  But overall, I think I did a good race, in fact the whole team did for that matter.”  
Nevertheless, the misfortunes accumulated for the Swiss professional team throughout the race.  Many crashes punctuated the day with some IAM Cycling riders paying the price. This was the case for Jarlinson Pantano, Jonathan Fumeaux, Patrick Schelling, as well as Clément Chevrier, who explained the nervousness in the pack: “It was really weird,” Chevrier admitted.  “Everyone wanted at all cost to be at the head of the peloton.  So naturally since the roads are very narrow, we were bumping around all the time.  I’ve never seen that before.  Sometimes there would be a big slowdown in the pack, but then that would also cause big crashes.” 
Without this bad luck, the race may have turned out better for the team.  In any case, Rik Verbrugghe, sports manager of IAM Cycling, believes things may have been different.


“We were riding well as a group, but then the crash 10 kilometers from the finish took out three of our riders. Mathias Frank and Sébastien Reichenbach found themselves alone, and had to reposition themselves without any help in the last few kilometers of the race.  But if we could have avoided that, the team was completely ready to support its leaders.


"Mathias Frank is in a phase to regain racing fitness, but day by day it will get better, that’s definite.  And as for the Cherave climb just before the finish, it was an unknown quantity for the day, and it definitely deserves to be there.  The riders were nervous approaching the climb, and I think that spices up the finish and creams the pack just before the foot of the Mur de Huy.”



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