By Jean-François Quénet in Varese, Italy
It's not often a former member of a ProTour team returns racing as an Under 23 rider, but that's exactly what Johan Lindgren did in Varese, Italy yesterday. The rider placed 15th in the Under 23 UCI World Time Trial Championship race.
The Swede had quit the Under 23 category for a professional contract with Française des Jeux at the end of the 2006 season. At the end of last season Lindgren asked team manager Marc Madiot to forget about the second year of his contract, as he felt he wasn't the right man for the life of a professional cyclist. Instead Lindgren chose to give priority to his family and returned to Sweden to work with his father Anders, who distributes Shimano in Scandinavia.
"I could have continued but I preferred to be fair with Française des Jeux instead of doing one more year and quit, I would have taken somebody else's spot," Lindgren said in Varese.
But Lindgren's passion for the sport continues to linger, so he now splits his time. "I work half time and cycle half time," he said. "I've done some races in Scandinavia and America with my local team and I'm happy with this situation."
Considering his part time work, the Swede was happy with his time trial effort yesterday. At the age of 22, Lindgren is just a cycling lover with no specific hopes or ambitions for the future.