Skujins takes Latvian time trial championship

Trek-Segafredo rider tops Smukulis and Saramotins for first elite jersey

Trek-Segafredo's Toms Skujins claimed his first Latvian elite men's title Thursday in Riga, winning his country's time trial championship ahead of Gatis Smukulis (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) and Aleksejs Saramotins (Bora-Hansgrohe).

Skujins covered the 32.4km course in 38:37 - 1:24 better than Smukulis and 1:27 quicker than Saramotins - to top the six-rider field. He moved up one spot on the podium this year after finishing second to Saramotins by 30 seconds on a 33km course in 2017. Smukulis won the championship in 2016, while Skujins was third that year.

"This was my first TT title, and it was a big honor to win and have a year in the jersey," Skujins said in a statement released by his team. "This was a big goal of mine because this is a race you actually can control, whereas the road race is always really hard – you need a lot of luck."

Skujins jumped from the former Cannondale-Drapac team to Trek-Segafredo this year. The 27-year-old almost immediately started proving his mettle for his new team, taking his first victory for Trek-Segafredo in January at Trofeo Lloseta-Andratx, part of the Challenge Mallorca.

He added another win to his palmares during stage 3 at the Tour of California, jumping away from the bunch near the end of the stage to Laguna Seca and stealing one from the sprinters. Skujins went on to win the mountains classification in the American WorldTour race. He most recently scored a top 10 in a bunch sprint at Criterium du Dauphine earlier this month.

"I have to say a huge thank you to the team because they made sure I had some support here – and the local Trek guys came out to cheer me on and help," Skujins said. "Also some of my family members were here so it was a big pleasure to win."

Skujins and the rest of the Latvian men will fight for the road race title on Sunday.

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