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!

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