Thomas Löfkvist has confirmed that he will ride the Vuelta Espana in support of Team Sky captain Bradley Wiggins, but also hopes to have some chances to ride for himself after a disappointing first part of the season.
The classy 27-year-old Swede was the leader at Team Sky at the Giro d’Italia after he wore the leader's maglia rosa for a day in 2009. This year he struggled with illness and fatigue in the mountains and eventually finished 21st, 43:51 behind winner Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard).
Löfkvist was not part of the Team Sky Tour de France line-up but has been training hard for the Vuelta that begins on August 20 in Benidorm.
“I’m riding the Vuelta, which starts in a couple of weeks. My programme just got changed and we’ll go there with Wiggins for GC. I think it’ll be a nice race. We try to get the best out of the team,” Löfkvist told Cyclingnews in this video.
“I’ll probably have the possibility in a couple of stages to do something for myself. I haven’t seen the details of the race route. It might actually be better to not see a climb like the Angliru before riding it…”
Following the Vuelta, Löfkvist hopes to ride the world championships. He reveals that Sweden looks set to only qualify for one place in the elite men’s road race, but he hopes to be selected, believing it is possible to take the race to the sprinters on the largely flat circuit.
“It’s close to Sweden and there will be a lot of Swedish fans there. It’d be nice to do it. Even if it’s flat there will be a lot of teams that don’t want to bring it home in a sprint, so I think there could be opportunities,” he said.
“At the moment we’ve got one spot and I’m not sure if I get it but we’ll know after the Tour of Poland.”