Toms Skujins added the Latvian road title just four days after winning the time trial
Latvian legend Toms Skujins has achieved the double national championship sweep for the first time in his career. He has won both the time trial and road race before, but never in the same year. That was, until Sunday.
For those unfamiliar with Latvia, it is not the biggest cycling nation. Because of this, it’s difficult to field a competitive race from just one small, though mighty, nation. Therefore, this year the Baltic nations – Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia – banded together for one Baltic race, with the top finisher from each country crowned as national champion. Toms being Toms wanted to win the race outright, and that’s just what he did.
“It was the first time in a long time, I think 17 years since the Baltic championship was held along with the national championships. It was really fun like this, it made for much more exciting and dynamic racing. We had Emils and I racing with support from the local Trek dealer because we really needed it today: we needed bottles and ice socks because it was the hottest day in Estonia [where the race was held] in the last few years. Without them we would probably be somewhere in the forest crying in the shade. I was super happy to have them following in the car. The day itself was, as always, hectic with a lot of attacking. Slowly it wore people down and in the final laps I was away with three Estonians, so that meant I was quite safe to win the Latvian jersey, although we were hitting cobbles each lap and I had to make sure to stay safe from crashes or punctures. Slowly, the Estonians turned the screw on each other, and I let them do that. Once that was done I could play my card and go for the Baltic win as well as the Latvian championship win. Obviously I’m super happy about it, I’ve never done the double before, so it’s nice to need Santini to work on both a jersey and a TT suit now!”
*Photo taken from 2020 Tour de France where Toms was proudly wearing the Latvian colors.