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Boasson Hagen and Lövkvist left Columbia because of top sprinters

Swede Thomas Lövkvist in the leader's jersey at the 2009 Giro d'Italia

Swede Thomas Lövkvist in the leader's jersey at the 2009 Giro d'Italia (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Edvald Boasson Hagen and Thomas Lövkvist left Team Columbia-HTC because of the American team's emphasis on its two top sprinters. The two young riders, who are joining the new Team Sky, said that the team's support of Mark Cavendish and André Greipel didn't leave enough opportunities for them.

“I was sitting at home during the Tour because I did not fit completely into the train to Mark Cavendish,” Sweden's Lövkvist told “The reason is that the team was entirely built up around him. Then I have to see me around where conditions are best for me.

“I understand that Columbia chose to focus on the world's best sprints, but that does not mean there are no other solutions for me."

Lövkvist, 25, did not regret his time with the team, though. “I think I speak for everyone when I say that we had a very good team in Columbia. At the same time we went as far there with our development as we could. For Edvald and me, it was not proper that we should work to help riders in a large part of the races.”

Norway's Boasson Hagen, 22, confirmed Lövkvist's remarks and noted, “Besides, I like to try something else.” At Sky, he can “play a greater role in the team. It will be exciting, while increasing the pressure on me.”

Lövkvist is happy that Boasson Hagen will also be at Sky. “If I were to put together a team, he would be on it, because of his youthful power and characteristics. He is very talented and has a good future ahead of him. I can well say that he is most talented rider I've ever seen.”

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