Thomas Lövkvist and Heinrich Haussler headline new IAM Pro Conti squad, while Fabian Cancellara sits out year one of new Swiss squad
MAASTRICHT, Netherlands (VN) — Thomas Lövkvist and Heinrich Haussler lead the lineup for the new IAM Cycing squad set for next year.
Both Lövkvist and Haussler will have the chance to lead the new Swiss-registered Professional Continental team after frustrating seasons at Sky and Garmin-Sharp, respectively.
The team closed its recruitment for its debut season next year with 23 riders, with nine Swiss riders, including three Swiss neo-pros, among the international lineup that includes nine different nationalities.
The big name missing from the roster is Fabian Cancellara. Team owner Michel Thétaz told VeloNews last month that he was in discussions with the Swiss superstar, but Cancellara still has one year left on his contract with RadioShack-Nissan and will not be joining the start-up team.
Thétaz is bankrolling a multi-million-euro budget with his IAM financial management company, with the goal of creating a pro-continental team for the 2013 season and taking aim in the mid-term toward the Tour de France.
“The spirit of the team will be Swiss, but it will be an international team,” Thétaz told VeloNews. “We have a fairly ambitious program. We will be at the upper limit of what a Pro Continental team, with a full roster, four directors, with around 40 people working on the team.”
Thétaz said the team’s budget is “between 6-8 million euros” and aims to reach the Tour de France and the other elite races within the sport in the “next few years.”
Other big names confirmed include Johann Tschopp (BMC Racing), Gustav Larsson (Vacansoleil-DCM), Marcel Wyss (NetApp) and Martin Elmiger (Ag2r La Mondiale).
Tschopp and Lövkvist will lead the team’s GC ambitions while riders such as Haussler, Elmiger and Sebastién Hinault can hunt for stages and be there for the classics.
The sport director lineup is also confirmed. Serge Beucherie will act as the lead director, with former High Road and USA Cycling development program director Marcello Albasini and ex-pros Kjell Carlstrom and Eddy Seigneur rounding out the staff. The team’s service corps and headquarters will be located in Switzerland near Geneva.
IAM Cycling for 2013