Johann Tschopp «I wanted to take the climber’s jersey in Sion»

30 April 2014

IAM Cycling


Swiss riders shone brightly over the roads of the first stage at the Tour of Romandie.  Michael Albasini (Orica GreenEDGE) came away with the victory at the end of a sprint with the 30-strong group.  For IAM Cycling, Reto Hollenstein and Johann Tschopp proved once again that the Swiss Pro Continental team has impressive depth.


The day wasn’t all perfect for the squad, though, since Marcel Wyss unfortunately fell on one of the hairpin turns on the descent from Lens.  His wheel slipped out from under him while he tried to follow the rocket descent of Nibali.  Wyss never managed to come back to the lead group and gave up a minute on the overall standings.


Reto Hollenstein also had a muted response to how his day unfolded, faced with a greatly truncated stage due to the bad weather conditions at the Simplon Pass.

“Today I took part in the break with an idea of gaining king of the mountain points.  We tried our luck but with only three in the break, it was really a mission impossible with this nervous, short stage.  But the most important thing is that we are still well placed on the general classification and we will make every effort to help Mathias Frank on the overall.”


Matthias Brändle took part in the final sprint, snagging himself a strong 6th place in the process.  But IAM Cycling did find itself represented on the podium after the stage with Johann Tschopp who took the only king of the mountain points left on the stage.


Tschopp, who comes from Miège, was happy to see his wife and two boys at the finish.

“I gave everything I could to win the sprint to the top of the climb.  I took off to grab the points, and then I saw Thibaut (Pinot) chase and catch me like a bullet.  But I told myself there was no way that I would let myself be beaten in my home territory.  I wanted to wear the climber’s jersey in Sion.  So I knuckled down and pushed my pedals even harder.  Now that I am in pink, the favorite color of my oldest child, I am satisfied.  The rest of the week we will do everything we can to defend and protect our leader Mathias Frank, particularly in view of the queen stage that will come on Friday.  But for my part, I am feeling confident with the big stages yet to come.”