IAM Cycling eyes two grand tours in sophomore season

The squad bolstered its lineup by signing some talented riders for 2014, including Sylvain Chavanel

IAM Cycling is hoping to race not one, but two grand tours in its sophomore season for 2014.

After missing out on an invitation to race in a grand tour during its debut season in 2013, IAM Cycling has raised the stakes for the coming season, signing a total of 25 riders, including the arrival of French star Sylvain Chavanel.

“Considering the additions we have made to the team for 2014, and the experience we gained this past year, we are quite capable of participating successfully in two grand tours,” said team manager Serge Beucherie in a press conference Monday.

Team owner Michel Thétaz confirmed the squad has already approached RCS Sport with its intention of racing the Giro d’Italia, as well as Milano-Sanremo and Tirreno-Adriatico.

“The other big objective involves an invitation to the Tour,” Thétaz said. “But to accomplish that, we understand that we will have to earn our place with a strong performance in the early season races. … I am convinced that we are at a level and ability to succeed in managing two grand tours in one season.”

IAM Cycling posted some strong results in its debut season, winning 12 races, with 16 second places and 14 third places.

The team, however, missed out on invitations to all of the 2013 season’s grand tours.

For 2014, the team has bolstered its lineup with some quality veterans. In addition to Chavanel, the team added Mathias Frank, Roger Kluge, Jerome Pineau, and Vicente Reynes.

The squad is hoping the presence of popular French star Chavanel will help ease the way to a Tour invitation.

Despite its increased ambitions, the squad decided not to apply for one of 18 UCI ProTeam licenses that would have guaranteed it a spot in the WorldTour, including all three grand tours.