IAM Cycling has had a successful start to its 2013 Swiss National Championships campaign in Satigny. In the individual time trial, which took the riders twice around a 19 kilometer circuit, Martin Elmiger and Reto Hollenstein took the two places of honor on the podium alongside winner Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Leopard), who has already been Olympic champion and won multiple World Championships in this discipline.
The race took place in the heart of the Geneva countryside and close to the headquarters and offices of Michel Thétaz’s IAM SA (IAM Investment Funds). In second place, Martin Elmiger ceded 59 seconds to Cancellara. “Fabian is almost untouchable in this discipline. Personally, I had good sensations. The loop is difficult and in Switzerland, we always have to pay attention to on-coming cars. Sunday will be different, with the road race since it will be a very tactical match between not only IAM Cycling and BMC but also riders like Cancellara, Rast and Albasini.”
Martin Elmiger followed up this performance by taking second in the road race on Sunday. “We have not lost the national title, but rather won 2nd place.” Close to his offices in Geneva, Michel Thétaz, founder of IAM Cycling as well as IAM SA (IAM Investment Funds), refused to mourn about his riders coming up one place short of the victory over a demanding circuit around Satigny. In front of a large enthusiastic crowd, the 2013 Swiss Road race championships were ultimately won by Michael Schär (BMC). Johann Tschopp took 8th place after having been in a solo break for 30 kilometers. Tschopp did not regret his gamble. “I escaped to force BMC’s hand. But there was a lot of headwind and much of the circuit was little suited to my specialties. Faced with the sort of competition offered by BMC as well as Rast, Cancellara and Albasini, I was easy prey.”
Marcello Albasini praised the excellent job his riders did. “In a national championship like this, it takes a great deal of good luck. The guys acted perfectly. Johann Tschopp forced BMC to work. Too bad Martin Elmiger was not able to take the sprint, but in the last two laps he was never able to come through to relay.” Elmiger, who recently became a father, was happy with how he raced, though admittedly a bit disappointed to come away with 2nd place. “At first I did not get in the right group and had to chase back to the breakaway almost single-handed. That cost me a lot of strength I could have used in the finale. I stayed calm. My other teammates were attacking to try and keep Cancellara from being there at the sprint. That’s how Johann Tschopp’s breakaway proved to be so useful. But when Michael Schär took off, I was only able to sit on his wheel the last three laps. This means he really deserved the win.”
There was also success for our younger riders, with Team Maca Loca SCOTT's Simon Pellaud and Colin Stüssi finishing in first and second respectively in the U23 category.