What's Cool In Road Cycling

Ster ZLM Tour – IAM Cycling to Put the Emphasis on the Sprints

THE OBJECTIVE: “Ensuring a stage win,” announced Kjell Carlström, directeur sportif along with Rubens Bertogliati for IAM Cycling at the Ster ZLM Tour. “On paper, we have a sprint-oriented team. With Leigh Howard, Roger Kluge and Jonas Van Genechten, bunch sprints will be our strength. But we can also look to achieve a good result in the prologue with Vegard Stake Laengen. And for the queen stage where the peloton will climb the Gileppe and Redoute, we have David Tanner and Vicente Reynes who have the qualities suitable for these difficulties. We have enough talent to stand out on any terrain.”

THE TRAP: The wind. “This part of the Netherlands is very open,” Carlström said. “The wind is often a formidable guest. However, it’s important to use it as an ally. The rider who goes well on Saturday’s Gileppe stage will take a serious option out on taking the overall standings. Opposing teams will then have to use the wind to catch the leader’s jersey. It promises to be a very interesting race.”

THE WAIT: “Along with the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de Suisse, the ZLM Tour is the last event where the riders have a chance to prove themselves,” Kjell Carlström explained. “It is only after these three races that we will make the final decision about which nine riders will be going to the Tour de France.” Of this selection deadline, Leigh Howard is well aware. “The ZLM is a real opportunity for me,” the sprinter confirmed. “I want to show I have the capacity and the legs to be a part of the nine man team that will go to the Tour.”

THE DUO: Leigh Howard and Roger Kluge. Having already worked together in setting up sprints for the Tour Down Under and the Giro, the duo will race together again in the Netherlands, much to Howard’s delight. “Roger Kluge is one of the best pilot fish I have ever seen in my entire career,” Howard said. “We know each other well by now, and I follow him blindly. He has also aptly demonstrated that he can take a sprint on his own by winning a stage at the Giro. Between us, I think we make a good combo.”

Coureurs:
Leigh Howard (Aus)
Roger Kluge (All)
Pirmin Lang (S)
Simon Pellaud (S)
Vicente Reynes (Esp)
Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor)
David Tanner (Aus)
Jonas Van Genechten (Bel)

Directeurs sportifs: Kjell Carlström, Rubens Bertogliati.

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