Tour first-timer and procycling Fab Four member Thomas Lovkvist is happy with his opening time trial
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“I gave everything, and think I did a great time trial. I was 50 seconds behind Ullrich, which is what I should be if I do a good time trial,” Tour debutant Thomas Lovkvist told procycling in the start village in Challans ahead of Sunday’s second stage.
The fact that Ullrich lost over a minute to both Lance Armstrong and Saturday’s time trial stage winner David Zabriskie, however, isn’t lost on the Swede, who finished 59th, 2-06 behind Zabriskie. “Of course, there were two guys who were head and shoulders above the rest. Basically, they p***** on us!” Lovkvist laughed. “So, except for those two guys, I did a pretty good TT.”
The Franaise des Jeux rider, who was disappointed to miss out on a Tour place last season, admitted that the race is even bigger than he had ever imagined. “I’ve done the Worlds and I’ve done the Olympics, and they’re not even close – not even close,” said Lovkvist.
He’s one of three Swedes – the other two being Liquigas pairing Marcus Ljungqvist and Magnus Backstedt – at the 2005 race. “But the media attention from Sweden…” said Lovkvist, bemoaning the lack of attention the three have received. “We’ve got more riders here than Denmark, and Denmark’s quite a big cycling nation.
“If I win five stages and the general classification, maybe Swedish TV will give me a call, but probably not, as they are so busy with the football and the horse racing and all that. But I’m not bitter!” Lovkvist laughed, who will now spend the next few days working for Franaise des Jeux’s two sprinters, Baden Cooke and Bernhard Eisel.