Ster ZLM Tour – Stage 1 – Roger Kluge «I could not have asked for a better start»

18 June 2015

IAM Cycling

Ster ZLM Toer 2015

Roger Kluge already announced a few days ago that he was hoping to do a good prologue for the Ster ZLM Toer.  But in saying that, he did not necessarily expect to win on the streets of Goes.  Nevertheless, no one ended up being faster than the German rider on the 6.4 kilometer prologue where he averaged more than 51km/h.  He even out-paced Martijn Keizer (Lotto-Jumbo), who had long been the provisional leader only to end up in second place.  For this victory, the sixth of the season for IAM Cycling, Roger Kluge has also taken control of the yellow jersey as the overall leader.

Ster ZLM Toer 2015

In making his first assessment regarding his race, Roger Kluge could not help but to smile and be enthusiastic about his success.  “I could not have asked for a better start,” Kluge, who won a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics in the Points Race, explained.  “Last week I participated in the German championships on track and I think it was actually excellent preparation.  I really felt very good before coming to the prologue.  Now, of course, we will try to keep the jersey.  But I am realistic.  I’m not the fastest rider on the team, so it may be a bit complicated for the squad in the next few stages.  But we do have two very fast guys in Matteo Pelucchi and Heinrich Haussler. I have already worked for Matteo at races like Qatar, and I think we can do some more good work here as well.  After that, it is just a question of remaining vigilant, since the forecast is for wind in the coming days, and some teams might try to use these conditions to their advantage.”

Ster ZLM Toer 2015

The good mood was contagious Wednesday evening among the members of the Swiss cycling team.  Rubens Bertogliati, directeur sportif for IAM Cycling at the Ster ZLM Toer, was full of praise for Kluge.  “The course was technical in the first part, and then rolling near the end,” Bertogliati explained.  “Before the prologue, I talked with Roger, and I sensed he felt good.  He told me that he wanted to go last, since he figured there would be a little less wind and he wanted to go à bloc in the time trial.  And he did not miss his chance.  He has grabbed a beautiful victory, and I am delighted.  Now we have the leader’s jersey, and we intend to defend it.  I must be honest that the stages on Friday and Saturday will be complicated for Roger, but until then we will do everything we can to stay ahead, and then after that, we shall see.”