Offered wildcards to both Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico, it proved to be a highly successful day for UCI Pro Continental team IAM Cycling. The Swiss side may be funded generously by their sponsors, with the talents of Sylvain Chavanel leading their ranks, but few could have foreseen how successful they were in France and Italy. Just moments after news was filtering through of Chavanel taking the polka dot jersey at Paris-Nice, Matteo Pelucchi was storming to a sprint victory ahead of the likes of Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano).
IAM Cycling’s form is perfect justification of the wildcard they have been awarded for this year’s Tour de France – but it will have caused a slight embarrassment to Tirreno-Adriatico organisers RCS Sport, who surprisingly overlooked them for the Giro. Having proved they can field two squads to compete simultaneously at big races however, it can not be long before they are welcomed permanently into the upper echelons of pro cycling.