The new IAM Cycling Professional Continental team is busy preparing for the 2013, building its team structure from scratch in Switzerland, with the aim of being competitive in the Classics with Heinrich Haussler and perhaps even securing a wild card invitation to the Giro d'Italia.
IAM Cycling is owned by Michel Thétaz, who is the founder and CEO of the IAM Independent Asset Management company based in Geneva. The team has signed 23 riders for 2013, with Thétaz hoping to one day secure the services of Switzerland's best known rider Fabian Cancellara.
As well as Haussler and stage race leader Thomas Löfkvist, the team roster includes Gustav Larsson and Stefan Denifl, Aleksejs Saramotins, Kevin Ista, Dominic Klemme, Aleksandr Pliuschin, Rémi Cusin, Johann Tschopp, Martin Elminger, Kristoff Goddaert, Sébastien Hinault and Italians Marco Bandiera and Matteo Pelucchi.
"The objective for 2013 is to create a team that reflects the identity of our company. I want the guys to ride as a team, helping each other and all pulling in the same direction," Thétaz told Italian magazine Tuttobici in an interview, revealing he rides 5,000km a year and will be at races to watch his riders in action.
"Considering the different kind of riders that we'll field in races, I think we can do well in the Classics and stage races. Haussler can do well right from the start of the season, while Tschopp or Löfkvist can get some results at the Tour of Romandie and he Tour de Suisse. We'd also like to have the chance to ride a grand tour. For example I think my team could do well in the Giro d'Italia…"
"The project will last at least for three years but we always look to the long term and so we could stay in cycling for a lot longer," he said. "For now IAM is the team's lone sponsor because we want our name to stand out. However we had offers of co-sponsorship and so we could open up to other sponsors in the future."
"I admire him as a rider because he's got a great image and reputation both in Switzerland and internationally. The races I'd like to win are the ones a rider like Cancellara is able to win: the major classics and stage race prologues. For now I can't wait to see a IAM Cycling rider celebrate with their arms in the air."