Löfkvist claims overall race victory
11 February 2013
A debut and a win have marked a strong beginning for IAM Cycling. Right out of the gates, the team is already celebrating its first victory by winning the Tour Mediterranean.
Thomas Lövkvist started the last stage 2 seconds behind the leader Maxime Monfort of team RadioShack. Although Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto-Belisol) would win the final stage to Grasse, the Swedish rider from IAM Cycling was able to seal the overall victory securing his first big win since 2009.
Here is what Thomas had to say about the victory. “I'm very happy, I had good sensations the entire week and I knew we could do something. I have to thank my teammates for their work, I was impressed by how fast we joined up as a team on the road, it's not always easy for a new group but there it went better and better each day.”
“The first thing I had in mind after crossing the line was, "Finally!” I waited quite a long time for this and it is a real satisfaction. This morning I knew the stage would be hard and that we would have to be very good in strategy to win the race.“
The stage was marked by an escape group of 17 riders. With Roy at 1:30 down on GC the gap never grew much beyond two minutes. The harmony within the group ended on the Passage au col du Tanneron, with the second category climb splitting the group. Behind, the peloton were mustering their charge as Roy, Kadri and Izaguirre broke free and dropped the remnants of the break.
“The attacks started quite early and very quickly 17 men were in front. Dominic Klemme, Matthias Brändle, Stefan Denifl, Gustav Larsson and Aleksejs Saramotins did a great job in the front, riding with the Radioshack-Leopard-Trek guys. I was with Matteo Pelucchi when we entered the final circuit and on the last climb I could tell Maxime Montfort was not at his best, that was a chance for me so I gave everything there and it worked.”
“I wish to dedicate this victory to my team of course but also to all the people who have always been there for me: my wife for her constant support, my coach Michael Andersson and a special thought for my teammate Kevyn Ista - to whom I promised a bottle of Champagne if we would win the race - Kevyn I wish you'll be on the bike again soon, the bottle is on its way!”