Konovalovas enthusiastic again after move to MTN – Qhubeka team
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Friday, December 14, 2012

Konovalovas enthusiastic again after move to MTN – Qhubeka team

by Shane Stokes at 8:15 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Lithuanian rider getting confidence back after difficult seasons

Ignatas KonovalovasAfter two tough years with the Movistar team, former Giro d’Italia stage winner Ignatas Konovalovas has improved morale as he prepares for a 2013 season with the MTN – Qhubeka team.

The four time Lithuanian champion recently completed his first training camp with the team and is in a determined frame of mind as a result.

“I am motivated, and it is good to see people in the team that motivate us, and are ready to work with us to achieve our goals,” he told VeloNation. “That is very important.

“I have really enjoyed the training camp. We did lots of things in the first week, meetings, medical checks and more. The team is much more professional than I thought before. We have very nice people on board, from staff, the riders are also very friendly, so we had really nice time together.

“We joked a lot when we could and worked a lot when it was needed. So I am really happy for the moment about my choice.”

Konovalovas turned professional in 2008 with the Crédit Agricole team, one season after netting second in the European championship time trial. After a year there he moved to the Cervélo Test Team in 2009 and won both the Giro del Mendrisiotto and the final stage of the Giro d’Italia.

After a 2010 season where he picked up his fourth national TT title and fourth on stage nineteen of the Tour de France, he moved to Movistar for two seasons. His results were quieter there, but he’s determined to perform more strongly with his new team.

“My first goals of the season are the northern Classics,” he said, laying out his initial targets. “My main goal of the year is to be proud of myself, to gain confidence.”

More details about Konovalovas’ racing programme will become clear as the season gets closer.

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