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Thomas Löfkvist (born 4 April 1984) is a Swedish former professional road bicycle racer who last rode for the UCI Professional Continental team IAM Cycling.[1] Since 2015 Thomas Löfkvist is general manager of Swedish professional cycling team Team Tre Berg–PostNord. He became the youngest Swedish professional road bicycle racer when he started his professional bicycling career in FDJeux.com at the age of 19 in 2004.[2] Löfkvist was a good time trialist with solid climbing abilities, winning the Monte Paschi Eroica in 2009 with a powerful attack during the steep final kilometer ascent. He has previously used, both within and outside of the cycling world, the surname spelling 'Lövkvist'. Beginning with the cycling season of 2010 he is using his legal surname Löfkvist throughout.[3]

Thomas Löfkvist
Thomas Lövkvist Eneco Tour 2009.jpg
Löfkvist at the 2009 Eneco Tour prologue
Personal information
Full nameKarl Thomas Henry Löfkvist
NicknameGotland
Born (1984-04-04) 4 April 1984 (age 35)
Visby, Sweden
Height1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight70 kg (154 lb; 11 st 0 lb)
Team information
Current teamRetired
DisciplineRoad
RoleRider
Rider typeAll-rounder
Professional team(s)
2004–2007FDJeux.com
2008–2009Team High Road
2010–2012Team Sky
2013–2014IAM Cycling
Major wins
Grand Tours
Giro d'Italia
1 TTT stage

Stage races

Circuit des Ardennes (2003)
Circuit de la Sarthe (2004)
Deutschland Tour
Points classification (2008)
Young riders classification (2008)
Tirreno–Adriatico
Young riders classification (2009)
Tour Méditerranéen (2013)

One-day races and Classics

Monte Paschi Eroica (2009)
National Road Race Championships (2006)
National Time Trial Championships (2004)

Contents

CareerEdit

Early yearsEdit

As a junior, Löfkvist was the European mountain bike champion. Aged 19 he won the Individual Time Trial and the Overall Classification of the prestigious Circuit des Ardennes. Löfkvist also finished sixth and wore the leader's jersey in the 2003 Tour de l'Avenir. Following these results he turned professional for the French team FDJeux.com in 2004.[2]

Française des JeuxEdit

Löfkvist's first professional season turned out to be a very successful one. The week after turning 20 he won the last stage of Circuit de la Sarthe with a 171 km breakaway, covering 150 alone after getting rid of Christophe Moreau. The stage win also gave him the Overall Classification, drawing comparisons with Tour de France winners Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond, who also won the race at the age of 20.[4] Löfkvist finished 10 seconds ahead of Franck Bouyer, who four days later earned his revenge by beating Löfkvist in the French semi-classic Paris–Camembert.[5] Later in the season he also won the Swedish National time trial championships and participated in the 2004 Summer Olympics. In the 2004 Tour de l'Avenir he won the last stage and finished second overall on the same time of the winner, Sylvain Calzati.

Löfkvist began the 2005 season with a 12th place in the Paris–Nice. He made his debut in the Tour de France as the youngest rider at the age of 21. He also finished 4th in the Tour de Pologne and 14th in the Deutschland Tour. He was later named the Swedish Cyclist of the Year.[6] In 2006 he became the Swedish National Road Race champion and was once again the youngest rider of the Tour de France.[6]

In 2007 he finished second in the Critérium International after winning the concluding Time Trial. He also competed in the Tour de France and later finished second in the 14th stage of the Vuelta a España, the best stage result for a Swede in Vuelta a España since 1982. At the age of 23 he had finished his second Grand Tour of the season and the fourth of his career. Löfkvist was the UCI ProTour rider with most competition days (84) in 2007 and he only abandoned in the last stage of Paris–Nice. He covered the third most competition kilometers in the ProTour.[7]

Team ColumbiaEdit

Löfkvist joined the Team High Road for the 2008 season, later known as Team Columbia. Löfkvist won the best young rider classification and finished third in the Tirreno–Adriatico. His improvement in stage races became clear after he finished fifth in the Tour de Suisse, ahead of his team leader Kim Kirchen. Löfkvist also took the white jersey from Romain Feillu in the first time trial of the 2008 Tour de France. Löfkvist then finished impressively 12th at the World Championships.

In 2009 he finished 5th at the Tour of California behind Levi Leipheimer and then won the Monte Paschi Eroica, his first win in two years. He also finished fourth in the Tirreno–Adriatico and later wore the pink jersey as leader of the general classification at the 2009 Giro d'Italia.

Team SkyEdit

On 10 September 2009, Löfkvist was presented as a rider for the newly established British Team Sky, where he has chosen to spell his name 'Löfkvist'. Team Sky officials have said that the name appears as 'Löfkvist' on the rider's passport, and he previously has used that spelling in the Olympic games.[8]

In July 2010, Löfkvist finished 17th in the Tour de France (20 minutes, 46 seconds behind winner Alberto Contador),[9] the highest placed Team Sky rider.

Löfkvist led Team Sky at the 2010 Vuelta a España, but the team withdrew from after Stage 7 following the death of soigneur Txema González.[10]

In the absence of Bradley Wiggins, Löfkvist led Team Sky at the 2011 Giro d'Italia, where he finished 21st overall.[11]

Löfkvist left Team Sky at the end of the 2012 season, and joined the new IAM Cycling team for the 2013 season.[12]

In August 2014, Löfkvist announced his retirement at the end of the 2014 season, as he was diagnosed with chronic fatigue.[13]

My body is saying stop. I’ve enjoyed winning the Strade Bianche, but my most memorable moment is when I got the pink jersey at the Giro d’Italia in 2009. I’ve chosen my teams for their ethics and I’m proud of that.

— Thomas Löfkvist[13]

In November 2014 Löfkvist was announced as general manager of the new Swedish squad Team Tre Berg-Bianchi ahead of the 2015 cycling season.[14]

Career achievementsEdit

Major resultsEdit

2003
1st Overall Circuit des Ardennes
2004
1st   National Time Trial Championships
1st   Overall, Circuit de la Sarthe
1st Stage 4
2nd Paris–Camembert
2nd Overall Tour de l'Avenir
1st Stage 10
2005
4th Overall Tour of Poland
5th Overall Tour Méditerranéen
2006
1st   National Road Race Championships
2007
1st Stage 3 (ITT) Critérium International
2008
2nd Overall Deutschland Tour
1st   Points classification
1st   Young rider classification
3rd Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
3rd Cantons d'Argovie
5th Coppa Bernocchi
5th Overall Tour de Suisse
8th Monte Paschi Eroica
9th Overall Tour of Catalonia
Held   Young Rider Classification from Stages 4–8
2009
1st Monte Paschi Eroica
1st Stage 5 Sachsen Tour
4th Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
1st   Young rider classification
5th Overall Tour of California
6th Flèche Wallonne
Giro d'Italia
1st Stage 1 TTT
  Leading general classification for stages 5
  Leading young rider classification for stages 5–15
2010
2nd Strade Bianche
6th Overall Tour du Limousin
2011
6th Overall Vuelta a Andalucía
10th Overall Tirreno–Adriatico
2012
8th Overall Critérium International
2013
1st   Overall Tour Méditerranéen
3rd National Time Trial Championships

Grand Tour general classification results timelineEdit

Grand Tour 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
  Giro d'Italia 25 21
  Tour de France 61 63 64 41 17
  Vuelta a España 54 DNF 52

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "IAM Cycling (IAM) - SUI". UCI Continental Circuits. Union Cycliste Internationale. Retrieved 1 February 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Thomas Lövkvist signs with FDJeux.com". cyclingnews.com. 15 September 2003. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
  3. ^ http://www.eurosport.se/cykel/lovkvist-blir-lofkvist_sto2242560/story.shtml
  4. ^ "A champion is born: Thomas Lövkvist". cyclingnews.com. 9 April 2004. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
  5. ^ "Sarthe rematch turns the tables". cyclingnews.com. 13 April 2004. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
  6. ^ a b "Rider profile: Thomas Lövkvist". cyclingfans.com. 13 July 2006. Retrieved 2008-07-09.
  7. ^ "CYCLING QUOTIENT – PROTOUR STATISTICS 2007" (DOC). cqranking.com. Retrieved 2008-07-09.[dead link]
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-06-22. Retrieved 2010-01-05.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2011-06-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ http://www.teamsky.com/article/0,27290,19641_6356679,00.html
  11. ^ http://www.teamsky.com/article/0,27290,21147_6958432,00.html
  12. ^ "IAM Cycling announces 2013 roster". Cycling News. Future Publishing Limited. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  13. ^ a b "Löfkvist announces retirement from professional cycling". Cyclingnews.com. Future plc. 28 August 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
  14. ^ "New Tre Berg-Bianchi Team unveiled in Sweden". Bianchi Bicycles. 15 November 2014. Archived from the original on 27 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.

External linksEdit