ICA’s 2019 season in numbers,
and an exclusive end of year interview with Team Manager, Kjell Carlstrom.
ICA’s 2019 Season in NUMBERS:
251 Top 10 results (World’s 2nd)
119 races – World’s 1st
29 Victories – World’s 8th
PCS points: 3723 – Pro Conti: 1st
UCI points: 4849 – Pro Conti: 4th
Team Boss Kjell Carlstrom exclusive interview: “Our Best season, but we could have done even better.”
ICA’s pro manager Kjell Carlstrom is an understatement kind of person. Bragging is not his thing, even when the numbers clearly show that he has a lot of reasons to be proud of his team performance.
“We had a good season”, he said. “Undoubtedly, the best we have ever had since we started racing five years ago.” But frankly, we could have had even a better one. We suffered from some critical injuries, we started the season a bit slow, and we could have finished better too”.
Your biggest Disappointments?
Carlstrom: “I am not sure that is the word, but I certainly wished that we had better success in the Classics and to win a stage in our Grand Tour. We could have done much better in the WT of California, but Ben Hermans’ injury just before California has hurt us”.
What was the key to our overall success this season?
Carlstrom: “I believe it was the team’s spirit. We race very well together as a team, and it was reflected in our ability to score points. Look how many Top 10 scores we had this season. I believe that these scores reflect on our ability to race as a team. I am certainly proud of that”.
Which great moment will you take with you?
Carlstrom: “Oh. There were many. For example, in Frankfurt: even if Davide Cimolai did not reach the podium, the whole team worked magnificently for him. For me, it is not the victory that necessarily represents the most significant moment, although a win shows it the most. And when they finally arrive, it’s never the story of one rider but the entire team. I always think of those guys that contributed a critical help that without it, there would be no victory.
We are looking at our statistics. It is quite flattering.
Carlstrom: Surely, those Top 10 are a reason to be proud, but you got to remember that we were still an underdog kind of team. We lacked the power force that other teams have enjoyed, but with our team’s spirit, we were able to stay very competitive.
306 days of racing. No other team came even close.
Carlstrom: We knew we did not have enough powerful riders to go for podiums, so we gambled on this route of more races than anybody else, and it proved to be a good tactic.
We finished as the best Continental team under the Pro Cycling Stats measure (the 100 best races in a season), but unfortunately, what counts is the UCI ranking, where we were able to finish at the 4th only among the pro continental teams.
Carlstrom: “Obviously, we did not achieve the top UCI ranking, which was our original goal, but we were in the game until the finish line. In the end, it really came down to the last races of the season, and we were again hampered by some injuries. Still, we did give it a fight until the end to achieve our goal”.