|Thomas Löfkvist, Team Sky|
Thomas, first of all, how would you describe your season so far?
All together I think it has been fine. The feeling on the bike has definitely been a lot better than the last two years.
After getting sick during Tirreno-Adriatico, you did very well in Criterium International getting 8th in the GC.
Tirreno was one of my big goals this season, so it was a big disappointment for me to get sick there. I really came to the race in good shape. Criterium International wasn’t really a planned goal for me, but I was still in good shape and the course really suited me.
So what is your next big aim of the season?
First I will do the Ardennes Classics and then Tour de Suisse, which is a big goal for me.
In 2010 you ended 16th overall in the Tour de France. Do you feel you still have the chance to improve that result or don’t you focus on the GC in the Tour anymore with Bradley Wiggins on the team?
On a personal level I would like to do Top10 in the Tour and I also think I have the capacity to do so. In 2012 it will be difficult since the team hopes to take both the Green [Cavendish] and the Yellow [Wiggins] jersey. That means I will be working in front on the flat parts and in the mountains, so it will be very difficult to get a good result for myself.
Do you still feel you get enough chances to prove yourself?
We have a lot of strong riders this year, but I still get my chances. I had Tirreno-Adriatico earlier and Tour de Suisse next where I can go for a result. I like being with Team Sky, but my contract ends after this season, so we will see what happens.
Does that put any extra pressure on you to perform better this season?
Well, the pressure is always there, but this year it’s a lot more important for my future.
You had some of your best years the last time you rode with Mark Cavendish. Now you two are back together. Did you miss him?
I have been missing him. Mark is a great guy to have on the team. He spreads a lot of positive energy and he is very nice to work with. Plus, when you work for him it often leads to victory, which brings good momentum to the team.
Another interesting rider on the team is Norwegian Lars-Petter Nordhaug. You know him well. How far do you think he can go?
Yes I have known Lars-Petter since the junior years when we were battling each other on Mountainbikes in the forest. Lars-Petter is a huge talent who should be able to make it to the top. I think he can do well in the three week stage races, but he needs a little bit more experience first.
Last summer you became a father for the first time. How did that change your life? Does it make it more difficult being so much away from home?
To get a kid was a big thing. Life really gets a new meaning when you’re not only responsible for yourself. Sometimes it can be difficult to be away, but with Skype it works out fine. Now and then I find myself smiling on bike when I think about him. It really motivates me.
Looking ahead. Your next races are going to be the Ardennes Classics. Will you get your own chance there?
I will get my shot at Fleche Wallone. I did well there in 2009 (6th place) and I would like to top that. It’s been many years since I did Amstel, so we will see what happens. In Liege it’s all about who has the best legs, so I hope mine will be good!