"A dream comes true"
Vuelta a España
The accomplishment of Mathias Frank: The Swiss rider took a solo victory at the top of the Alto Mas de la Costa to finish off the 17th stage of the Vuelta. This marks his first win after two years without taking the bouquet, and also represents his first stage win at a grand tour.
"When I crossed the line, I said to myself that this is a dream come true", Mathias Frank explained with a voice full of emotion. "I have not had an amazing season. I missed out completely on my two main objectives when I had to abandon both the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de France. My ambition coming into the Vuelta was to win a stage. Now I have accomplished this mission. I feel at peace and it's an incredible feeling."
"I never imagined that the race scenario would unfold so perfectly. When I attacked from the break along with Dario Cataldo (Astana) 30 km from the finish, quite honestly, I did not believe we’d make it. And I refused to believe until I was safe across the line", Frank continued. "I fought hard like always. I was afraid that the chase group would catch back up. Then I realized I had won…it was magical."
The support from Marcel Wyss and Clément Chevrier in the break: Surrounded by two teammates, Mathias Frank was able to get a real foothold before flying to victory. "Marcel and Clement were able to cover various attacks throughout the day. This was a great help for Mathias", Eddy Seingeur confided. "On account of the fact that we had several riders in the main breakaway, we were able to control the race at the front. And we did it brilliantly."
Eclipsing the team record from 2014 and its 18 victories, Mathias Frank's win at the Vuelta brings the IAM Cycling total to 19 for the year, and most importantly, the fourth grand tour stage for 2016 (after Roger Kluge/Giro d'Italia, Jarlinson Pantano/Tour de France and Jonas van Genechten/stage 7 of La Vuelta a España).