04 April 2013
Stefan Denifl came agonizingly close to giving IAM Cycling its second stage victory at the Circuit de la Sarthe by finishing an impressive second at the top of the côte des Avaloirs.
As a member of the small chase group reeling in the eventual winner and new yellow jersey Pierre Rolland (Europcar), Denifl just missed catching his prey by a handful of seconds in this stage which ran from Angers to Pré-en-Pail (côte des Avaloirs).
The team led by Kjell Carlström and Rubens Bertogliati could also be satisfied with Marcel Wysss 10th place at the end of a stage where the ice cold wind made it feel more like an Iditarod challenge than an April race in France.
Though sorry to have missed out on the victory, Stefan Denifl preferred to dwell on his strong performance.
Today my legs felt really good and I stayed in the chase group until the foot of the last climb (2km averaging 8%). Since I knew I was on a good day, I attacked the others and quickly had a gap of 20 seconds. I finished on Rollands heels (9), and I still had strength to chase, but I simply ran out of road. I have no regrets because I am just back to racing after having been ill for a week. Im happy with the team and we have been working really well together all through this race.
Even if Denifl barely missed out on snatching the yellow jersey (5e at 12) back for the team, Matteo Pelucchi did succeed in retaining the green jersey as the best sprinter.
According to Directeur Sportif Kjell Carlström the team is in a good position:
The guys are obviously fit and motivated, so everything is still possible for us in the final stage; it will be a very demanding day that runs like a mini Amstel Gold race.
IAM Cycling team complete results on The Circuit de la Sarthe 4th stage
photos: Etienne Garnier