Giro d’Italia – Stage 20 – Michel Thétaz «The Giro is too hard; that’s why we love it, and I’m really happy with our 4 podiums»

30 May 2015

IAM Cycling

Giro d'Italia 2015

The Giro d’Italia has had many of the types of days that make fans love it.  Today was a difficult stage with climbs that would force every rider to push his limits of suffering to the maximum just with the hope of finishing within the time limit, not to mention any hope of winning the stage at the top of Sestrière.  In this game, as with several others during this Giro, Astana rose to the challenge with ease since Fabio Aru won the stage and was within range to hope about knocking Alberto Contador off his throne.  The Spaniard riding for Tinkoff-Saxo managed to husband his resources and retain his pink jersey by 2’02”.

IAM Cycling Thétaz Michel

Under the watchful eye of their boss, the IAM Cycling racers avoided the skirmishes between the two dominating teams for this last mountain stage of the first grand tour of the season.  However, despite the hardships endured over the three weeks of intense racing, Aleksejs Saramotins managed to get into the break of the day, which escaped after one hour of hard racing at an average of 48km/h.  The Latvian Saramotins and his breakaway companions never were allowed a gap of more than three minutes ahead of the favorites.

Michel Thétaz, the founder of IAM Cycling and CEO of IAM Funds, who accompanied directeur sportif Kjell Carlström in the team car, was well aware of the difficulties all the survivors of this three week tour had faced.  “The Giro is too hard; that’s why we love it and I am very happy with our four podium places obtained by Sylvain Chavanel, who had two, and then Mateo Pelucchi and Sébastien Reichenbach, who had one a piece.  And then we also had Heinrich Haussler in 4th place for the sprint into Lugano and then 6th place in the opening team time trial.”

“Of course we can still be confident that Heinrich will have a chance to play for a top place in the sprint finish into Milan.  Today we also showed the jersey well with Saramotins in the breakaway, which was able to stay away until the favorites started to fight each other at the base of the Finestre.” Michel Thétaz will remember the experience of this climb for a long time to come: “There were riders all over the place.  Groups started to form and were blown apart by the severity of the percentages, the unpaved section, and the enthusiasm of the fans.  We were even handing out bottles and food to riders who were not on our team as we followed Sylvain Chavanel.  I had goose bumps.  Every last rider showed a lot of courage in the face of the difficulties.  And there was more wind and rain for the riders who came later.”

Giro d’Italia 2015

“I repeat: the Giro has been and always will be the most difficult.  But that is what makes it so beautiful and popular, and it will continue to be revered.  Its organizers will continue as a point of honor to be motivated to create a race that will be above all selective and difficult.  Without them, there would never be a fight every day, and we all have to take our hats off to Alberto Contador, since he has proved to be able to master this test.  Stages that follow a script where a breakaway is caught shortly before a sprint no longer interest the fans as much.  This was a Giro where there were many breaks that were successful and could take victory in style, particularly because of the difficulties.”