Giro d’Italia – Stage 21 – Roger Kluge -The dream would be to win, but this 3rd place allows IAM Cycling to finish its first grand tour of the year in style –

31 May 2015

IAM Cycling

The Giro d’Italia finished with the anticipated overall victory of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo), though the final stage from Turin to Milan ended with the unexpected success of two escapees fighting for the win just seconds ahead of the peloton.  In the game of dead man’s poker that was played in the finishing straight, it was Iljo Keisse (Etixx-Quickstep) who proved the better bluffer ahead of Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEDGE).  All the theatrics ended up being bitter sweet for the IAM Cycling team since they deprived Roger Kluge of a well-earned victory. 

Giro d’Italia 2015

Indeed, the IAM Cycling rider had been very well placed by Sylvain Chavanel and Aleksejs Saramotins after the team had already suffered the untimely puncture that Heinrich Haussler had, hamstringing the Australian seven kilometers from the finish.  In the chaos, the IAM Cycling duo managed to drag the entire peloton within 9 seconds of the leading pair.  Nevertheless, Kluge’s third place allowed the Swiss professional team to celebrate its fifth podium of the Giro.  Of course the main objective had been to get a stage victory, and though it was not achieved in the end, the performances that not only Chavanel, Pelucchi, and Reichenbach managed, but also Kluge, Haussler, (4th), and the entire team in the opening team time trial (6th), demonstrated the overall improvement and progression that the Swiss team has made over the past year. 

They were all smiles in the IAM Cycling camp after warm showers and nibbles, which meant that Roger Kluge was able to be very open and honest when analyzing his performance.  “The dream would have been to win the stage, but this third place allows IAM Cycling to finish its first grand tour of the season in style.  We were definitely motivated to succeed and get a win on this final stage.  But of course, the team had its share of bad luck as well, with Heinrich Haussler and Clément Chevrier puncturing.”

Giro d’Italia 2015

“But in the end, Sylvain Chavanel and then Aleksejs Saramotins prove invaluable to me when trying to place me for the sprint.  I was in an ideal position, and was able to make use of my strength by swallowing up the small cobbled section just before the final straight, so I was able to stay in front.  I have suffered a lot in this Giro, which has been very mountainous with a constant, infernal pace every day.  The team showed incredible strength of character and fortitude by getting a lot of podium places in a race that we must remember above all last three weeks, practically without stop.  Today I can feel like I did not lose a stage, but won 3rd place.”

Le discours était de la même veine chez Kjell Carlström, l’un des directeurs sportifs en compagnie de Rubens Bertogliati, au moment de tirer un bilan de ce Giro 2015. «Nous avons encore réussi à faire contre mauvaise fortune grand cœur. Aujourd’hui, Heinrich Haussler n’était pas bien avant le départ puis il a crevé au pire moment. Malgré tout le travail de l’équipe s’est révélé parfait. Il nous a juste manqué, comme depuis le départ de San Lorenzo al Mare, ce petit coup de pouce du destin dans les moments décisifs. Sans parler de la malchance qui s’est acharnée sur nous avec la chute collective de la 2e étape puis les abandons en raison de problèmes divers de Stef Clement, Sébastien Reichenbach, Matteo Pelucchi et Jérôme Pineau. Personnellement, j’ai trouvé que nous avions progressé en comparaison avec les performances réussies lors du Tour de France 2014.»