Mathias Frank certainly proved his strength during the week. The IAM Cycling leader for stage races was already intent on testing himself over the two day, three stage Critérium International, while he enjoyed the support of a strong team dedicated to his cause.
Rubens Bertogliati, his directeur sportif, sported a big smile at the top of the Col de l’Ospedale after a magnificent victory hard fought for by the Swiss rookie to IAM Cycling.
“Since we also finished first in the team standings, all our guys were firing on all cylinders, and then Mathias Frank finished it all off nicely by winning the stage. All we were missing was a single second to complete a fantastic double and take the overall as well.
I would like to note the strength of the group as a whole. Everyone really did his absolute best, and at the base of the final climb we had five riders in a group that had already been whittled down to thirty.
Everyone stepped up to the plate; just look at how well Wyss, Tschopp, Fumeaux and Reichenbach all finished. And for his part, Mathias managed a perfect race. He remained alert until the final moment and made the killer accelerations in final five hundred meters. This victory bodes well for the rest of the season and how well we can hope to do at stage races.”
Pleased to offer his first bouquet to his new team, Mathias Frank also wanted to highlight the performance of his teammates before savoring his victory.
“I am very happy to open my tally for the year already here. But I also have to thank the enormous collective work that the team did. It pleases me to look forward to the rest of the season. We have many valuable assets. Personally, I had good legs today. I did try at the end to do something special since I also wanted to win the overall, but Peraud hung on. I’m pleased that I did do a good time trial yesterday so to be in this position. I was actually surprised by my result. It gives me confidence and a big morale boost for the rest of the season. I am going to the Tour de la Sarthe and the Ardennes as well as the Tour of Romandie, and it helps to know that my fitness is right on schedule.”