IAM Cycling gained a net of four riders, bringing the team to 29 riders for the coming year, with captains Sylvain Chavanel, Mathias Frank and Heinrich Haussler heading up the squad.
New for 2015 is former Dutch time trial champion Stef Clement, and David Tanner, both from Belkin, Larry Warbasse from BMC, Jérôme Coppel (Cofidis), Thomas Degand (Wanty - Groupe Gobert), Dries Devenyns (Giant-Shimano), Jarlinson Pantano (Colombia), and Jonas Van Genechten (Lotto Belisol). Additionally, the team has brought in three neo-pros - Clément Chevrier, Sondre Holst Enger and Simon Pellaud.
Michel Thétaz, CEO of IAM Funds and founder of the team, said, "The best Christmas present arrived at my office in Geneva several days ago" of its letter confirming the WorldTour licence. "This is the culmination of all the work we have done since the birth of IAM Cycling in spring 2012."
Sports Manager Serge Beucherie thanked Thétaz for his support of the growing team. "His enthusiasm, passion as well as his confidence since the beginning of this adventure have been essential to us every day," Beucherie said. "He is responsible for giving us the means to meet this challenge and prepare to enter the WorldTour. In just two years, we have achieved our goal and we will not stop there!"
Rik Verbrugghe, the new team manager, said that with the step up to the WorldTour, riders can expect more race days, but the team will keep the calendar reasonable. "We definitely do not want to overwork our riders," Verbrugghe said. "In 2014, the average number of race days for the 25 pros under contract with the team amounted to 66 days. For 2015 with the WorldTour status, this figure will increase, according to our projections, 72 days, which is a quota entirely reasonable in comparison to the other teams of this level.
"With 29 riders under contract including three neopros, we will certainly manage to keep our promises and offer a race schedule that will satisfy everyone. The strategy that defined our transfer policy was to build two fairly distinct groups, namely a group around Mathias Frank, who is our leader for stage races, and another led by Sylvain Chavanel and Heinrich Haussler for the Classics. In the end, we managed to create a compact, homogenous team itself."
The team lost seven riders, three to retirement: Thomas Löfkvist, Sébastien Hinault and Dominic Klemme, with Kevyn Ista moving to Wallonie Bruxelles, Gustav Erik Larsson to Cult Energy and Johan Tschopp dropping back to the elite level. Kristof Goddaert was killed in a training accident in Antwerp in February.
IAM Cycling for 2015:
Sondre Holst Enger (Neo)
Vicente Reynes Mimo
Clément Chevrier (Neo)
Jarlinson Pantano Gomez
Simon Pellaud (Neo)
Jonas Van Genechten
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