uses cookies for statistics and targeting ads. This information is shared with third parties.

Every day we bring you more pro-cycling news

"Of course [we deserve an invitation]! As a new team, we have been successful this season. Ciolek can win in the sprints which means we have the chance to take the leader's jersey, and we can also win stages from breakaways,&q...






02.11.2013 @ 19:46 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Ignatas Konovalovas was an integral part of the successful first season at professional continental level for MTN-Qhubeka and ended his season on a high by a great ride at the world championships. He now hopes that his team will be invited to the 2014 Giro d'Italia to become the first African team at a grand tour.


Ignatas Konovalovas surprised the entire world when the then 23-year-old won the final stage time trial of the 2009 Giro d'Italia. A bright future appeared to be lying ahead of the talented Lithuanian but he struggled to reach similar heights in the following seasons while riding for Cervelo Test Team and Movistar.


Prior to the 2013 season, he joined MTN-Qhubeka as one of a select few seasoned European professionals that should were signed to help the new professional continental team get off the ground at the highest level. Apart from great performances in his national championships, he failed to make any personal results but he was an integral part of the success that saw the team take 15 wins - among them a fabulous victory in Milan-Sanremo.


However, his season got off to a bad start when he was forced to abandon the Tirreno-Adriatico and didn't return to racing until the Brabantse Pijl in mid-April.


"This season started very well for me and I was very optimistic, " he told Ciciclismo Internacional. "I felt stronger than I did in February and March last year but I got injured in Tirreno-Adriatic. I suffered a rupture in my hamstring and had to stop completely for two weeks before I could start to train loghtly for 3 to 5 hours. I had to re-start my season from scratch and it took me a long time back."


Konovalovas overcame his bad start and surprised most at the brutal world championships road race. On a course that was one for the true climbers, the Lithuanian time trialist managed to stay with the favourites for most of the race before finishing 22nd.


"I am very happy to have won the national time trial championships and been second in the road race but above all I am delighted for being strong at the world championships.


"It was a really good race for me," he added. "Of course you also needed a bit of luck to avoid the crashes. Actually, I have never seen so many in a single race as I saw on that day but the roads were very slippery. I am not surprised by my performance. I know that I can perform well in such races when I feel good. I like compete in long races, to find places to recover, to save energy. It is like an elimination race because of the pace and the crashes. The peloton gets smaller and smaller for every pedal stroke. That suits me well. I had good legs and was very motivated."


With a successful first season in his legs, he is ready to continue the strong showing from his team in 2014.


"I want to get a strong start in the first spring classics and be really good in March and April where we could receive an invitation for a race like Paris-Nice," he said. "That would be my goal. Afterwards, everything will depend on our calendar. I really hope we are at the start of the Giro d'Italia. If so, that would be my next goal and in the second half, I always have the Worlds on my mind."


This year MTN-Qhubeka deliberately chose not to ask for a wildcard for the grand tours with the management preferring the team to get more experience before starting a three-week race. However, the team hopes to earn an invitation to the Giro in 2014 and Konovalovas thinks it would be well-deserved.


 "Of course [we deserve an invitation]! As a new team, we have been successful this season," he said. "Ciolek can win in the sprints which means we have the chance to take the leader's jersey, and we can also win stages from breakaways. . Furthermore, we would be the first African team in such an event. That would give a lot of publicity and opportunities for everybody, organizers, riders, sponsors and journalists."


Despite his team being a young one, his first impressions have been good.


"It is a very nice team," he said. "I never regretted my decision to come here. There is a great atmosphere, we had good results and have gradually started to understand each other."


Konovalovas ended his season in the Paris-Tours.



Bycykling 101: Navigering i byens gader og cykelvenlige... 27.11.2023 @ 12:11The Best Danish Cyclist To Bet On At 2022 Tour De France 13.01.2022 @ 15:262022 Upcoming Tournament Overview 03.01.2022 @ 09:45Best Place to Find Stand-Up Paddleboards 16.06.2021 @ 08:16What are Primoz Roglic’s Chances to Win 2021 Tour de Fr... 17.03.2021 @ 08:37Amazing victory by young champion Sarah Gigante 04.02.2021 @ 14:21Three reasons why cycling is one of the best ways to ex... 28.09.2020 @ 12:03Why do businesses use meeting room managers? 14.09.2020 @ 13:42Five things that you can do, if you want to gain more f... 20.08.2020 @ 15:38One for the road 09.06.2020 @ 15:25List of CyclingQuotes previews 07.05.2020 @ 13:20Blue Energy: room for all interests 26.08.2019 @ 12:56Get your daily dose of exercise at home 08.07.2019 @ 10:443 good advice to be able to afford your favorite bike 25.02.2019 @ 12:32Cycle through gorgeous landscapes 22.10.2018 @ 21:41Balance Your Economy and Diet and Start Saving Money 08.10.2018 @ 11:18Stay Safe: 3 Helmets That Can Keep Your Head Protected... 20.07.2018 @ 07:59Planning to bet on Tour De France - Bet types and strat... 24.05.2018 @ 14:18Basics of cycling betting 25.10.2017 @ 13:10Bauer moves to ORICA-SCOTT 28.08.2017 @ 10:45End of the road for CyclingQuotes 08.01.2017 @ 16:00Rui Costa confirms Giro participation 07.01.2017 @ 12:55Van Avermaet: I am not afraid of Sagan 07.01.2017 @ 09:45Unchanged course for E3 Harelbeke 07.01.2017 @ 09:32Jenner takes surprise win at Australian U23 Championships 07.01.2017 @ 08:53No replacement for Meersman at Fortuneo-Vital Concept 06.01.2017 @ 19:14Barguil with two goals in 2017 06.01.2017 @ 19:06More details about French Vuelta start emerges 06.01.2017 @ 14:16Kristoff to start season at Etoile de Besseges 06.01.2017 @ 14:10Ion Izagirre announces schedule for first year at Bahrain 06.01.2017 @ 12:40JLT Condor optimistic for Herald Sun Tour 06.01.2017 @ 09:19Haas leads Dimension Data trio in fight for Australian... 06.01.2017 @ 09:15Sagan spearheads Bora-hansgrohe at Tour Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:12Henao and Thomas lead Sky Down Under 06.01.2017 @ 09:09Bauer crowned New Zealand TT champion 06.01.2017 @ 08:33Van der Poel ready to defend Dutch title 05.01.2017 @ 21:00Pantano ambitious for first Tour with Trek 05.01.2017 @ 20:41Landa with new approach to the Giro 05.01.2017 @ 20:36Sunweb Development Team sign Goos and Zepuntke 05.01.2017 @ 20:27Dumoulin confirms Giro participation 05.01.2017 @ 20:19Bauer targets victories in Quick-Step debut 05.01.2017 @ 20:16Gaviria and Boonen lead Quick-Step in San Juan 05.01.2017 @ 20:13Team Sunweb presented in Germany 05.01.2017 @ 20:09ASO take over major German WorldTour race 05.01.2017 @ 11:01Team Sunweb unveil new jersey 05.01.2017 @ 10:54Reactions from the Australian TT Championships 05.01.2017 @ 08:27Dennis defends Australian TT title 05.01.2017 @ 08:21Scotson takes back to back U23 TT titles in Australia 05.01.2017 @ 08:15Utrecht on track to host 2020 Vuelta 04.01.2017 @ 18:28Pre-season setback for Talansky 04.01.2017 @ 17:56Kristoff: It's not impossible for me to win in Rou... 04.01.2017 @ 17:49Boom close to first cyclo-cross win in LottoNL debut 04.01.2017 @ 17:40UAE Abu Dhabi make late signing of Arab rider 04.01.2017 @ 17:36UAE Abu Dhabi unveil new jersey 04.01.2017 @ 17:30BMC unveil race schedule 04.01.2017 @ 17:21

Currently no news in this list

42 years | today
52 years | today
30 years | today
34 years | today
Sarah-Lena HOFMANN
32 years | today