It was fitting that in IAM Cycling's final ever race that the Swiss team finished on the Paris-Tours podium to close out a successful end its four year existence as first a Pro-Continental, then WorldTour team. Belgian Jonas Van Genechten, a Vuelta a Espana stage winner in August, finished third in the French classic behind late attacker Fernando Gaviria (Etixx-QuickStep) and Arnaud Démare (FDJ) to see IAM Cycling finish the season with 58 podium results.
"Paris-Tours is a race that is close to my heart. I wanted to have a good result here, not only for myself, but for IAM Cycling. I did not see Fernando Gaviria take off. He did a hell of a sprint. I tried to get back and to anticipate, but Arnaud Démare got there before me. I could not do more. I still have no regrets," Van Genechten reflected on the race.
Before Van Genechten's sprint for the podium, Pirmin Lang animated the 252km race from the breakaway and explained his pleasure at showing the white, red and blue colours of the team jersey for one final time.
"The plan was to get one of us into the break. Simon Pellaud tried multiple times," said Lang who was reeled in by the chasing peloton with 15km to go before finishing in 168th place. "Then when the right move ended up going, it was I who was in the best position at the front. The day was long, and even if it was exhausting, I still had the time to enjoy having this opportunity one last time. I had a lot of fun."
For director sportif Eddy Seigneur, the final day in the team car was an emotional one as the realisation sunk it was his final outing in his role with IAM Cycling.
"The circle is complete, Seigneur said. "I really realized that this was the end when I turned into the bypass for the team cars just before the finish line. We spent four wonderful years together. And I am sure that our riders will also offer more beautiful emotions and performances in their future respective teams."
Since team owner Michel Thétaz's May announcement the team would be ending at the end of the 2016 season, the Swiss squad enjoyed its best season to date with stage wins at the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana and the Bretagne Classic-Ouest-France along with several other races to take its tally to 19 victories for the season.
During its four seasons in the peloton, IAM Cycling enjoyed several stage wins, national championships, overall stage wins and one-day victories but it was in 2016 that it enjoyed its biggest success with four grand tour stage wins.
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