Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays

I would like to take a minute and wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

May your Holidays be enchanting and your company inspiring.

Enjoy these days and don't forget to come back to the site in the new year.

See you soon!


PS. In case you need a positive cycling story to remember this year by let me recommend you this one - this is truly an amazing project!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Exclusive Interview - Thomas Löfkvist (IAM Cycling)

Thomas Löfkvist.
Thomas Löfkvist has had an awful year on the bike in 2012 where everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Now the Swedish rider, based in Switzerland, hopes that 2013 will bring more luck as he is set to lead out the new Swiss IAM Cycling team. 

Thomas, first of all, congratulation with the new contract with IAM. What made you pick IAM over the other teams interested in you?
Thanks a lot. My choice of IAM was something that evolved. I was in Geneva a couple of times to talk with the management. The important factor, which made me pick IAM in the end, was the way they wanted to build up the team and the enthusiasm Mr. Thetaz showed for the project.

You’ve just been at the first team camp in Geneva. How was your first impression of the team and your new team mates?
Yes, we were five days in Geneva to meet the team administration, to get our new bikes, new clothes and to spend some time getting to know each other. Last Friday we had a Christmas dinner with the whole IAM SA. I think it’s a great group of people and I went home with a very good “gut-feeling”.

How is IAM Cycling different from your previous teams?
IAM have a whole new structure meaning we are starting from scratch without any preconceived ideas about how things should be done. I was really surprised how open minded they are. That is especially thanks to Kjell Carlström who has brought many new ideas to the table.

Do you already know your race schedule for next year?
Well, I have received a preliminary schedule that will be focused on the one-week stage races and I’m very happy with that.

I guess Tour de Suisse and Tour de Romandie will be the two biggest goals for the team next year?
No doubts about that. With a Swiss sponsor Tour de Suisse and Romandie will be the team’s two main goals and that goes for me too. I have ambitions of showing off the IAM colors successfully in those races!

Which other races are you aiming at next year?
First of all the two Swiss stages races but also Tirreno-Adriatico in the spring. After that we will have to wait and plan the rest of the year.

What about this season? Is it best just to forget it or can you take anything positive with you from 2012?
I rather just forget this damn year. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.  I managed to time my peak perfectly for Tour de Suisse [Löfkvist’s big goal of this season], but that got ruined by my knee injury. Then I came back strong in the end of the season, but got hold up behind the big crash at the World Champions and in Emilia I was in the winning group when my derailleur broke. There is really nothing positive I can take with me from this year.

Looking at the future. IAM Cycling are hoping to do the Tour within a few years. Will that be with you as their team leader?
Well, my ambition of doing Top10 in a GC is still there, so I will keep on trying every time I can.

Last one. Since it’s Christmas and everything, what is your biggest wish for 2013?
A problem free year on the bike!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Let the race begin!

Contador keeps Kreuziger behind him to take the win.
Photo from Contador on Twitter.
Alberto Contador and Team Saxo-Tinkoff were worried they wouldn’t be handed one of the 18 World Tour licenses and therefore had to live on mercy from the race organizers next year. Luckily that didn’t happened and now Contador and the rest of the Danish team can prepare for a great 2013.

One of the most important helpers for Alberto Contador next year will be Roman Kreuziger and according to the Czech climber he’s already made good friends with his new Spanish captain.  

It was easy, we have a common interest for fast cars. Alberto is crazy about them! He has about five cars at home so I guess I have to work hard to keep up with him”, Roman Kreuziger told Czech newspaper Dnes.
Contador as winner of the Go-Kart
tournament on Gran Canaria.

At their team camp on Gran Canaria last month, Team Saxo-Tinkoff also had a Go-Kart ournament arranged and according to the staff, Alberto Contador was quick to school his team on how to do it right before he later ended up on top of the podium as the overall winner.

Roman Kreuziger showed his potential too, taking second place. “It’s probably his friendship with Fernando Alonso that helped him”, Kreuziger explained.

You can watch a 9 minutes video of Team Saxo-Tinkoff's Go-Kart day on Gran Canaria by clicking here.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Saxo-Tinkoff in - Katusha out

Bjarne Riis can keep smiling as his
team finally got a World Tour license.
Today The International Cycling Union (UCI) finally revealed all the 18 World Tour teams for 2013 and in the end Bjarne Riis and Team Saxo-Tinkoff managed to secure their status in the cycling elite. Instead Katusha - who ended 2nd on the UCI World Tour team ranking - was left out.

Earlier this week Roman Kreuziger explained that for him it wouldn’t really matter if Team Saxo-Tinkoff got the World Tour license or not as he was sure they would be given wild cards to all the big races anyway. “Everybody wants to have Alberto [Contador] in the their race so I’m not worried”, Kreuziger said and I’m sure the situation will be the same for Katusha.

Having Joaquim ‘Purito’ Rodriguez - winner of the individual UCI World Tour ranking for the second year in a row - plus strong riders like Dani Moreno, Denis Menchov, Alexander Kristoff etc. on the team surely counts when the race organizers are sending out invitations. I for one will be very surprised not to see Purito and Katusha in the big races in 2013…

These are the 18 World Tour teams for next year:
Astana Pro Team
BMC Racing Team
Lampre – Merida
Omega Pharma – Quick Step Cycling Team 
Sky Procycling
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
Movistar Team
AG2R La Mondiale 
Euskaltel Euskadi
Former Rabobank
Garmin Sharp
Team Argos–Shimano 
Team Saxo – Tinkoff
Lotto Belisol