Lövkvist motivated for new challenges at Team Sky

Team Columbia - Highroad teammates Mark Cavendish and Thomas Lövkvist share a word after Cavendish's victory.

Team Columbia - Highroad teammates Mark Cavendish and Thomas Lövkvist share a word after Cavendish's victory. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Swede Thomas Lövkvist ended two years with Columbia-HTC on Saturday at the Giro di Lombardia in Como, Italy. He leaves the USA-based team to ride for new British ProTour squad, Team Sky.

At Sky "there are a lot of new ideas and new mentalities. There's a lot I am looking forward to," Lövkvist told Cyclingnews.

Lövkvist said he wants to ride the 2010 Tour de France as one of Sky's general classification leaders. Tour organiser, Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), presented the race's route last Wednesday in Paris. The Tour will feature three mountain top finishes, a stage over cobbled sectors also included in April's Paris-Roubaix and minimal time trialling.

"It looks hard," said Lövkvist. "The cobblestones in northern France stand out.

"It would have suited me to have more time trialling because I think we will have a really good time trial team. But, no matter how they create the route, it is always hard."

Lövkvist led this year's Giro d'Italia for one day, thanks to Columbia's win in the team time trial and his seventh place to the first mountain top finish on stage four of the race. He finished 25th overall after three weeks at the Giro d'Italia.

"He's exactly the type of guy cycling will be built around," said Columbia manager Bob Stapleton at the time. "He's extremely intelligent and focused. He's got a fantastic character. He doesn't tolerate weaknesses."

He also won Monte Paschi Eroica and a stage of the Sachsen Tour. Last year, Lövkvist placed 38th at the Tour de France, third at Tirreno-Adriatico, fifth at the Tour de Suisse and second at the Deutschland Tour.

"I have a lot of good memories and will miss some of it. I've enjoyed my time with my Columbia teammates and staff," Lövkvist continued.

Lövkvist became professional with Team Bianchi Scandinavia in 2003. He rode for France's Française des Jeux for four years, before his move to Columbia.

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