Vuelta al País Vasco – Stage 4 – Kjell Carlström «If you arrive below 100% capacity, this race is unforgiving»

10 April 2015

IAM Cycling

Giro dei Paesi Baschi 2015

The Basque Country knows how to be hard and merciless.  At the very least, this is the fate that the region’s race has reserved for the IAM Cycling team this year.  Though everyone feared fierce weather conditions, the idyllic weather they have enjoyed has been only a decoy.  Nevertheless, this hasn’t stopped Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) from claiming his piece of blue sky by winning for the second consecutive stage over the demanding Basque roads.  Taking fifth on the stage, Sergio Henao (Team Sky) finished in the same time with Rodriguez, retaining his lead in in the overall classification.

Giro dei Paesi Baschi 2015

Since IAM Cycling has been reduced by three abandons, including Jérôme Coppel, who crashed heavily, it is clear the team has had better days.  Kjell Carlström stoically assed the day for the team. “For this fourth stage, our task was further complicated,” Carlström admitted.  “The race kicked off to a fast start this morning, but we still managed to make the break with Jérôme Coppel. Everyone tried to get into the break, but I think we have had all sorts of bad luck since the start of the race.  We had riders either injured or a little sick before the start, and for a race like this, if you are not at 100% capacity, it is unforgiving.  In the end, the peloton caught up with the guys in front, and then four other riders got away.  Jérôme still stayed with the front group, but then at the bottom of a descent, he unfortunately crashed and hurt his wrist, so was unable to continue the race.  The rest of our guys stayed in the second peloton, but we have also lost Patrick Schelling who has been suffering from digestive issues, and David Tanner who is just lacking some power.  So overall, it was a somewhat sad day for us.”

According to a first diagnosis, Jérôme Coppel suffered a fractured left wrist and multiple bruises all over his body.  With the support of the University Hospitals of Geneva (HUG), Coppel will first require further tests which may then point to the need of a possible operation.  His return to racing will be assessed by the members of the sports management in conjunction with the faculty at the HUG in the coming days.

Giro dei Paesi Baschi 2015