Michel Thétaz: “A lot of great riders who wish to join us have the intrinsic qualities that fit perfectly in line with our philosophy”
Under the hot sun of the French Hautes-Alpes, the IAM Cycling team took advantage of the second rest day to recover as much as possible before the final push through the third week which presents a meandering way leading to the Champs-Elysées in Paris.
Arriving again to congratulate and encourage his riders at their hotel in Lauzet-Ubaye, Michel Thétaz took charge of enumerating the virtues of his collected team. “The feeling is quite positive after two weeks. The team has managed to protect Mathias Frank to the max, and he sits in a good 13th place overall. He still can aim for a place in the top-10 if he continues to get good results through the Alps. And if that is what happens, then we can safely say ‘mission accomplished’.” The founder of IAM Cycling and the CEO of IAM Funds also discussed the work he has been doing in order to strengthen the team for the 2016 season. “I am also here in the Hautes-Alpes to renew contracts. We have tasked the sports management to watch out for and analyze the applications that we have received. This year, there are plenty of strong riders available on the market. The challenge is to sort through the many applications we receive. A lot of great riders who wish to join us also have the intrinsic qualities that fit perfectly in line with our philosophy.”
After savoring a little the fantastic performance that netted Jarlinson Pantano a 3rd place into Gap, Rik Verbrugghe took care to explain the schedule for the rest day before launching into the strategy that the team will adopt for the Alpine stages. “There is no real time table for the riders today. We let them sleep longer and rest up. Some went for an hour or so ride in order to keep the legs moving and especially to prevent the body from dropping into a stand-by mode. Others simply gave up on a traditional ride in order to have the chance to take care of any minor injuries. Naps and massages punctuated the afternoon before the guys get ready for the evening meal. Starting tomorrow, no one will be able to nap through the relatively short stages, but ones that feature summit finishes at places like Pra-Loup, La Toussuire, and of course L’Alpe-d’Huez. If we want to snatch a spot in the top-10 with Mathias Frank or Jarlinson Pantano, we must remain both attentive and aggressive. And maybe we will also be able to win that stage that is still missing from our palmarès.”