Some large news regarding new Swiss team IAM Cycling today – the 2013 ProContinental team has announced some (quite) big-name signings recently as their roster starts to take shape for their first season.First up, Heinrich Haussler was announced as joining the team for next season. His career has stagnated somewhat after injury problems following his breakout 2009 season (2nd in Milan-SanRemo + Ronde Van Vlaanderen, Tour stage win). This year he was mostly anonymous for Garmin-Barracuda, aside from a string of second places in the Tour of California.
Haussler will undoubtedly be one of the team leaders, along with Swedish hero/time-trialist Gustav Erik Larsson and countryman Thomas Löfkvist. While each rider is a fairly large name in the cycling world, their recent underachievement is one trait they all share. This season Larsson won the rain-soaked opening time-trial at Paris-Nice, another national time trial championship and wore that silly helmet for the Olympics. Löfkvist hasn’t won a race since July 2009, predating his three years with Sky. He has reportedly been “happy working for other people” during his time there, an excuse he won’t have at IAM.
It’s a wonder how IAM missed out on signing Stijn Devolder given their penchant for underachievers.
So then, IAM will be hoping for their fresh pastures to help reinvigorate their new leaders as they drop down a division from the WorldTour to ProContinental level. I would mention the revival Filippo ‘the shadow’ Pozzato had this Spring with his luminous army at Farnese Vini, but better not eh?
Other news of note regarding the Swiss team that surfaced today was that Gabriel Rasch has cancelled contract already, instead opting to ride for Sky next year. The 36-year old had been Thor Hushovd’s lieutenant for the majority of his career, following him from team to team, but moved to FDJ this season. While he would’ve brought valuable experience to the team, his loss won’t be a massive blow.
Update: Not long after I made this post, IAM confirmed their entire roster for next season, so here it is (additions to original post in italics)..
Marcel Aregger (SUI, 22, from Atlas Personal-Jakroo)
Marco Bandiera (ITA, 28, from Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
Matthias Brändle (AUT, 22, from NetApp)
Rémi Cusin (FRA, 26, from Team Type 1-Sanofi)
Stefan Denifl (AUT, 25, from Vacansoleil-DCM)
Martin Elmiger (SUI, 33, from AG2R-La Mondiale)
Jonathan Fumeaux (SUI, 24, from Atlas Personal-Jakroo)
Kristof Goddaert (BEL, 25, from AG2R-La Mondiale)
Heinrich Haussler (AUS, 28, from Garmin-Cervélo)
Sébastien Hinault (FRA, 38, from AG2R-La Mondiale)
Reto Hollenstein (SUI, 27, from NetApp)
Kevyn Ista (BEL, 27, from Accent Jobs-Willems Veranda’s)
Dominic Klemme (GER, 25, from Argos Oil-Shimano)
Pirmin Lang (SUI, 28, from Atlas Personal-Jakroo)
Gustav Erik Larsson (SWE, 31, from Vacansoleil-DCM)
Thomas Löfkvist (SWE, 28, from Team Sky)
Matteo Pelucchi (ITA, 23, from Europcar)
Alexandre Pliuschin (MOL, 27, from RadioShack-Trek)
Sébastien Reichenbach (SUI, 23, from Maca-Loca-Scott)
Aleksejs Saramotins (LAT, 30, from Cofidis)
Patrick Schelling (SUI, 22, from Atlas Personal-Jakroo)
Jonas Tschopp (SUI, 30, from BMC)
Marcel Wyss (SUI, 26, from NetApp)
No new big names added, but there are several riders joining who only spent one season – Brändle, Denifl, Klemme, Larsson, Pelucchi – it seems IAM have gone for riders who haven’t worked out at the teams they joined at the start of this year.