Toms Skujins wins the Latvian National Road Championship and Ruth Winder is victorious in the USA.
Trek-Segafredo has added two more National jerseys to the tally with Toms Skujins winning the Latvian National road championships and Ruth Winder claiming the USA title Sunday. Earlier in the week, Ryan Mullen claimed his fourth Irish time trial championships and Anna Plichta her first in Poland.
Skujins and Winder will get to show off their coveted jerseys in their next races, the Tour de France and Giro Rosa respectively, after winning their first elite National titles.
Taking the jersey to the Tour is massive, it’s been a really long time since we have had the Latvian champ in the Tour.
Toms Skujins won the Latvian time trial title in 2018, but opted not to defend the title, and instead focused solely on the road race, a decision that paid dividends: “I chose to miss the time trial so that my preparation for the Tour is good and maybe skipping the TT was a blessing in disguise,” explained Skujins who will be starting his second straight Tour de France with Trek-Segafredo.
“It’s a hard race to win because here everyone is a little bit looking at me and knows the capabilities I have,” he continued.“I have to play it smart every time, and luckily today, I was smart and strong enough. Taking the jersey to the Tour is massive, it’s been a really long time since we have had the Latvian champ in the Tour. I am honored to wear it in the most-watched race and show the stripes to the world. Hopefully they see the jersey not just hanging out at the back but also off the front a few times.”
Ruth Winder and Tayler Wiles also played it savvy in the USA road championships, teaming up to make a hard and tactical race for the competition.
Winder explained: “Tayler (Wiles) made the race super hard. Honestly, she had better legs than me today; she was hurting me up the climb every time! But we wanted the pace to be hard and make a selective group – we knew we couldn’t take the sprinters to the line.”
With the climb the obvious point to attack, Winder opted to make her move at a different part of the circuit. “Everyone was watching you on the climb to go hard and after the climb, everyone was still watching, so I had to be super sneaky about my attack, and I was and got away,” continued Winder.
With still over 30 kilometers to go, it was a bold move, and it worked.
“On the last lap on the top of the climb, I saw the gap was getting pretty close, but I was giving it all I could and was just telling myself ‘it’s not over until it’s over.’ I could not believe it when I crossed the line; I thought everyone in the entire peloton was going to pass me in the last 50 meters!
“Tayler was a really awesome teammate, and I could not have done an attack like that without her pushing such a hard pace. I have had so many messages from the girls, and now I am heading over to Italy and really excited to join the team for the Giro.”