Coming back from injury, Roger Kluge had a great first race for IAM when he was one of just two riders from the team to make the first chase group when the peloton split on the Oude Kwaremont. The performance makes him confident for his role in the upcoming classics.
Roger Kluge has now been able to store away the tear in the ligaments in his shoulder into the drawer of bad memories. For Kluge, the Belgian semi-classic Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne marked his return to the peloton after his injury.
Sports director Eddy Seigneur is the first to recognize the fashion with which the team ended its Flemish weekend.
“We had a good end to the two days of racing with Roger Kluge’s performance in Kürne. He threw himself entirely into the fire for Heinrich Haussler, with a view to the up-coming classics, and I really appreciate the true value of his efforts. If Vicente Reynes recovers enough from his infection to participate in Tirreno, then we will have a strong and competitive squad this spring.”
Even if IAM Cycling did not quite manage to break into the top 10 for the day, the Swiss professional team welcomed Tom Boonen’s (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) victory for a very special reason.
“Tom loved Kristof Goddaert like family, and last week vowed that he would leave the bouquet on Kristof’s grave in the event of a victory. It is a tribute that the champion from Belgian has promised. And we will do our utmost to be able to follow suit and dedicate our victories that we hope to obtain in the coming days and weeks.”
After recovering from his efforts, Roger Kluge expressed how he was happy to have had his first day of competition in the IAM Cycling colors.
“I have done what I was tasked to do and as a result, came across the line with a feeling of accomplishment. My result here in Kürne has reassured me. I’m hurting a little, but no more than in any other race. I worked as planned for Heinrich and Matteo [Pelucchi], and I am convinced that I will continue to improve for the coming races.
"As a team, we still need to find the effortless rhythm that is essential to put together an effective sprint train. Now I’ll go back and recover while continuing to train. I expect to be able to be fit enough to provide Haussler and Pelucchi the proper support so that we can grab a victory in Tirreno. I will not show up at the races to act only as pack fodder, but will be there to be specially prepared to help them as much as possible, and that includes at races like Milan-San Remo and the other major spring classics.”
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