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"If all goes well I should be doing the Flanders and the Ardennes Classics. Besides doing well in the Classics and California, I’d love to go to the Olympics and finish the Vuelta, but we’ll see how it goes”

Photo: Unipublic




30.12.2015 @ 14:29 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Not many had heard of Latvian Toms Skujins before the Amgen Tour of California, but after winning a stage and spending some time in the leaders jersey, he 24 year old had done enough to earn a move to the top echelon of the sport with Cannondale-Garmin. He spoke to Café Roubaix about his dream of a season.


“It was really amazing. The preparation had gone to plan and once we got through the first race, which is always terrible for me, I got better and better. Once I hit California I was flying, and just kept it going as long as I could I spent a lot of time travelling around, which was kind of a bummer, but it was all for the better of my results and finally I had enough in my resume for teams to actually notice me.”


The Latvian says that he has really enjoyed his last two years racing with Hincapie Racing, saying he had so much fun he wouldn’t have swapped those two seasons for a WorldTour deal earlier in his career if he had the choice.


“I wouldn’t change these last two years with Hincapie Racing for a pro contract sooner. No way. It was a great group of people and I don’t think I’ll ever find such a cool team again to be a part of. Of course, we were all racing when the time was to race, but we had so much fun off the bikes, it was just like a group of buddies hanging out.”


Skujins spoke about how the deal with Cannondale-Garmin and Jonathan Vaughters came about, saying 2015 wasn’t the first time the team had been in contact.


“Jonathan Vaughters had been in contact with me over the previous years as well, but it always somehow didn’t work out. Finally, he had one extra spot on the team and after my chat with one of the directors – Andreas Klier – where we hit it off, it was just a matter of meeting up and signing the papers, which we did at World Championships in Richmond.”


Having attended the team’s winter camp in Aspen, Skujins has set some goals for himself, like performing well in California, finishing the Olympics and the Vuelta a Espana, if he makes the rosters. He says that as long as he is fit, he is due to ride the Tour of Flanders and Ardennes Classics, which excites him.


“Of course, the team has plans for me, as do I for myself. Luckily, they won’t make me ride too many World Tour races straight away and let me ease into it a bit, but if all goes well I should be doing the Tour of Flanders and the three Ardennes Classics. Besides doing well in the Classics and Tour of California, I’d love to go to the Olympics and finish the Vuelta a España, but we’ll see how it goes, as there’s still a long way out.”




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