Team Columbia's Lovkvist Gunning for Top Result in 2009 Tirreno-Adriatico
2009 Monte Pasche Eroica winner Thomas Lövkvist (Team Columbia-Highroad) will be looking to extend his winning streak in the 2009 edition of Tirreno-Adriatico, Italy’s second largest stage race, which starts this Wednesday in Volterra.
“Thomas got third overall in Tirreno 2008, less than a minute behind the winner. He’s a year stronger and more mature as a rider now, so there’s no reason why he can’t do better this time around,” pointed out Team Columbia-Highroad sports director Valerio Piva. “In 2008 Thomas was working for [former Team Highroad rider] Linus Gerdemann who was leading overall, but was then badly injured in the time trial. Even though he’d been working as a domestique, Thomas held on and got a great result.”
“Whoever wants to win the race this year will have to work very hard for it,” added Piva. “We’re very optimistic about Lovkvist’s chances, particularly after his recent victory at Eroica.”
Tirreno-Adriatico is also Mark Cavendish’s first European stage race of the season, but Piva says they will be looking more at the overall classification than for stage wins. “We don’t want to put Mark under any pressure here whatsoever. He’s more at Tirreno to get in the kilometres as part of his build-up for Milan-San Remo.”
Cavendish, Lovkvist, Eisel, Boasson Hagen and Albasini have used the time between the Eroica and Tirreno to check out the last kilometers of Milan-San Remo. “We rode over it twice, the last 110 kilometres on Sunday and the last 70 today,” Piva said. For Mark, this will be his first San Remo, and he’ll be doing it to gain experience for the years to come. Doing a route reconnaissance is all part of the process.”
Team Columbia-Highroad's lineup for the 2009 edition of Tirreno-Adriatico:
George Hincapie (USA); Thomas Lovkvist (Sweden); Mark Cavendish (Great Britain); Michael Albasini (Switzerland); Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway); Bernhard Eisel (Austria); Bert Grabsch (Germany); Konstantin Siutsou (Bylorussia).