Another outstanding performance by Toms on the roads of Italy, but in Rivoli he had to settle with second place. “I’ll keep fighiting and sooner or later, the win will come”
It is hard to imagine what goes through the head of a rider like Toms Skujins who, for the fourth time in twelve stages of the Giro d’Italia, sees victory within his grasp and then slip away. And today, more than ever, his dream almost became reality.
My first feeling after the finish line was disappointment, because today I got really, really close to make it.
In Rivoli, finish line of stage 12th, Toms played at the very best his cards to win against Denz (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Berwick (Israel). The former took the win thanks to a powerful sprint on the final straight, which Toms, despite his effort, was unable to overcome, and had to settle with second place.
It’s hard to have regrets, because Skujins rode incredibly strongly for entire the day. First he went in the breakaway, together with Pedersen, Mollema and Ghebreigzabhier, and then attacked to select the leading group. Simply, that’s cycling and Toms honored it in the best way, on and off the bike.
I made no mistake, there’s nothing I could have done better or different to win. I’m really happy for what I’m doing here at the Giro. As a Team, we’re doing great and personally I’m happy for my form, for my level of competitiveness, for my being so often in the mix. I don’t feel the need to prove that I can fight to win a race and I’m sure that, sooner or later, the victory will come again. I’ll keep fighting, that’s part of my history. I’m very good banging my head against the wall until the wall breaks so… yeah, I’m sure, it’s coming
How it happened, in Toms’ words
Already from the beginning there was a large group of escapees and it was clear that their chance of success was high. At the same time I knew that in that group my personal chances were small. My plan was to go early. Well, maybe not that early [he went with other three riders 85km to go], but the moment we attacked we immediately got enough gap to give us confidence and go ahead.
On the final climb I went as hard as I could with the aim, first of all, to drop Nico [Denz]. He was the one who most worried me for the final. He is a strong rider and, in fact, he held on. The following downhill was not so technical or fast enough to try to drop him again. The rest, it was just heading to the final sprint and… well, he clearly won.
I think, as a Team, we did our race in the best way. We had the plan to be in the breakaway to support Mads grabbing some points in the intermediate sprint and mission accomplished. Then we just focused on looking for the stage win. The balance of today for us, at the end, is not so bad, but of course I feel sorry and disappointed of not having put the cherry on the top.