Skujins takes the win in Winston-Salem

Hincapie rider solos to victory ahead of SmartStop's Jure Kocjan

Toms Skujiņš followed up his stage win at the Tour of California earlier this month with a solo victory at the Winston-Salem Classic on Sunday in North Carolina. The young Latvian bridged to an earlier move and then set off on his own with just over a lap remaining. Team SmartStop's Jure Kocjan finished second from a chasing group, just nudging Hincapie's Joe Lewis into third.

The result was a remarkable performance for Hincapie, whose director Thomas Craven hails from Winston-Salem, which is only a few hours from the team's home base in Greenville, South Carolina.

"It's a home race for us, and it makes it more special that we got first and third, and the KOM and sprint," Skujins said. "We did a good race today."

Good is an understatement, as the team put Mackenzie Brennan in the early move to mop up the mountains and sprint classifications, and then Skujins and Carpenter bridged across from the field. Carpenter was 1km from the line in second when he was caught and passed by the group with Kocjan and Lewis.

"I thought nobody would work with us, so we made a first selection with three or four to go, and before passing one to go, I told Robin I'd go solo and try to keep it going, because I didn't know how the other guys were feeling," Skujins explained. "We needed to put them under pressure. It was definitely really hard, once I attacked, it was hard to get in the rhythm but once I did that I kept it going and tried to keep a cool head."

After his break through performance to win the San Jose stage in the Tour of California and leading that race for three days, the Hincapie team confirmed their performance earlier in the month was no fluke today in Winston-Salem.

"Alll the guys had to ride the front really hard [in California]," Skujins said. "I'm so thankful for them. This win is for Craven and all the guys. They rode their hearts out for me in California and I'm just happy to pay them back."

Unlike Hincapie, the defending champions Smartstop struggled with injured and sick riders and were on the defensive all day. They put time trialist Evan Huffman in the early move, but Kocjan was the only rider to be able to follow the Hincapie riders.

"It was really aggressive, but unfortunately we were one of the favorites so everyone was racing against us," Kocjan said. "My guys spent a lot of energy in the first half of the race. In the end I was alone. Hincapie was amazing today, they were so strong and they had the numbers in the front. Lap by lap I felt better and better, and after California my form is coming.

"I'm happy, but I knew the last two laps I was one of the strongest guys, but this is cycling and only the victory counts. I'm a little bit disappointed. Our team is not 100 per cent, we lost three guys, they are injured and Eric Marcotte is sick, so we were lacking four strong guys."

Lewis said he struggled in the final lap to hang onto the chasing group, but found a little bit extra to sprint for the podium after an aggressive final few laps. "That's how we always ride. When we ride aggressively, we put the other teams on the back foot," Lewis said. "We had the numbers in the front and everyone was scared of us. I was really struggling to keep on over the hills, so I dug as deep as I could. I got tailed off a little bit on that last hill, but I managed to get on and attack with 300m to go, I just got caught by Jure at the line. I'm proud of the team. I'm proud of how we rode. I'd have loved to have won, but a podium with a teammate that I'm great friends with feels just as good. It's a team win."

With 106 miles of a technical, hilly circuit and temperatures soaring into the upper 80s, the men's field was happy to let Optum's Tom Zirbel, Evan Huffman (Smartstop) and Mackenzie Brennan (Hincapie) escape the field early in the race, and though the trio stayed out front for much of the race, they never gained much more than a minute's lead. Halfway through the race, Logan Loader (Amore & Vita) bridged across, adding new life to the breakaway but the field became increasingly aggressive and kept the four to 55 seconds. Defending champion Travis McCabe attempted to bridge across at the start of six laps to go, but wasn't allowed much leeway.

With four laps to go, the race behind was smashed to bits by a series of attacks, with Hincapie leading the charge and Optum's main man Jesse Anthony suffering an ill-timed puncture. A chasing group with Skujins, his teammate Robin Carpenter, Loader, Huffman and Airgas-Safeway's Connor McCutcheon emerged at the front at the line with three laps to go, with Zirbel chasing behind with Jure Kocjan (Smartstop) and several others, but he was called back to help Anthony.

Unitedhealthcare's Marco Canola and Jonny Clarke, Nicolas Tanovitchii (Jelly Belly) and Kocjan formed a chase group behind the five leaders with two laps to go, but they never had a hope of catching. Skujins launched a wicked attack on the climb during the penultimate lap and no one from the leading group could follow. McCutcheon's rear derailleur cable had detached trapping him in his hardest gear, while Carpenter was happy to play the team tactics and Loader and Huffman were cooked from their earlier move.

On the final lap, Carpenter left the rest behind, but was caught by the chasing groups, which had come together, with 1km to go. Kocjan sprinted up the hill to the finish to beat Lewis, with Anthony finishing a frustrated very close fourth place.

"I had to do a big time trial with a couple guys on my wheel because they all had teammates up front," Anthony said. "The last lap was a lot of work for me, and I didn't have a lot at the finish. I was so close to the podium. I thought we were still chasing three guys, the information was hard to come by out there on the last lap. I don't think I could have played the finish any differently, though. I was just racing to win or get on the podium and I had to put myself out there to do it. We tried to split up the race and make it hard, because we don't have a good sprinter for the finish and he was having a soft day. It didn't quite pan out for us."


#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Toms Skujinš (Lat) Hincapie Racing Team4:13:06 
2Jure Kocjan (Slo) Team SmartStop0:00:12 
3Joseph Lewis (Aus) Hincapie Racing Team  
4Jesse Anthony (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
5Tyler Magner (USA) Hincapie Racing Team  
6Logan Loader (USA) Amore AMO Vita - Selle SMP  
7Connor McCutcheon (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team0:00:46 
8Evan Huffman (USA) Team SmartStop0:01:32 
9Jonathan Clarke (Aus) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team0:01:49 
10Nicolae Tanovitchii (Mda) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis  
11Max Korus (USA) QCW Cycling P/b Breakaway Bikes  
12Stephen Leece (USA) Jamis - Hagens Berman  
13Adam De Vos (Can) H&R Block Pro Cycling Team  
14Mackenzie Brennan (USA) Hincapie Racing Team  
15John Murphy (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team0:04:55 
16Josh Johnson (USA) Bissell-Abg-Giant  
17Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Jamis - Hagens Berman  
18Dion Smith (NZl) Hincapie Racing Team  
19Brecht Dhaene (Bel) Astellas Professional Cycling Team  
20Kyle Murphy (USA) Lupus Racing Team  
21Luis Lemus (Mex) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team  
22Michael Woods (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
23Jon Hornbeck (USA) Hincapie Racing Team  
24Gerardo Medina (Mex) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team  
25Matt Rodrigues (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team  
26Redi Halilaj (Alb) Amore AMO Vita - Selle SMP  
27Efren Ortega (Pur) Incycle-Cannondale0:05:04 
28Christopher Prendergast (Can) Jet Fuel0:05:05 
29Cole House (USA) Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching  
30Dennis Ramirez (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson/Trek  
31Chris Winn (Aus) GS Ciao0:05:12 
32Evan Murphy (USA) Lupus Racing Team  
33Steven Perezluha (USA) Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching  
34Griffin Easter (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team0:05:17 
35Ryan Anderson (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
36Brad Neagos (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson/Trek U23 Cycling  
37Travis McCabe (USA) Team SmartStop0:05:25 
38Kiel Reijnen (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team  
39Kennett Peterson (USA) GS Ciao  
40Alan Royek (USA) Metra / Cycles 540:05:27 
41Uri Martins (Mex) Amore AMO Vita - Selle SMP  
42Christopher Uberti (USA) United Healthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project0:05:42 
43David Guttenplan (USA) Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching  
44Clay Murfet (Aus) Astellas Professional Cycling Team  
45Carson Miller (USA) Jamis - Hagens Berman  
46Oscar Clark (USA) Hincapie Racing Team  
47Cortlan Brown (USA) Astellas Professional Cycling Team  
48Emerson Oronte (USA) Team SmartStop  
49Justin Mauch (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team  
50Kevin Gottlieb (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team  
51Fred Rodriguez (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis  
52Carlos Eduardo Alzate Escobar (Col) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team0:06:17 
53Daniel Summerhill (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team  
54Eugenio Bani (Ita) Amore AMO Vita - Selle SMP0:06:19 
55Tom Zirbel (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies0:06:24 
DNFMarco Canola (Ita) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team  
DNFMarco Zamparella (Ita) Amore AMO Vita - Selle SMP  
DNFRobin Eckmann (USA) GS Ciao  
DNFGavin Mannion (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis  
DNFDavid Goodman (USA) United Healthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project  
DNFGeorge Simpson (USA) GS Ciao  
DNFJulian Rodas (Col) Incycle-Cannondale  
DNFOrlando Trinidad Garibay Contreras (Mex) Incycle-Cannondale  
DNFTravis Samuel (Can) H&R Block Pro Cycling Team  
DNFZachary Bell (Can) Team SmartStop  
DNFKristofer Dahl (Can) Team SmartStop  
DNFLuis Romero Amaran (Cub) Jamis - Hagens Berman  
DNFWill Routley (Can) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
DNFGregory Obando Brenes (Crc) Jamis - Hagens Berman  
DNFScott Zwizanski (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
DNFMichael Olheiser (USA) Lupus Racing Team  
DNFFrank Travieso (USA) United Healthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project  
DNFAdam Farabaugh (USA ) Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching  
DNFBradley White (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team  
DNFRobert Gutgesell (Can) Jet Fuel  
DNFMatt Zimmer (USA) All Stars-Velocious Sport  
DNFWalter Trillini (Arg) Jamis - Hagens Berman  
DNFDaniel Alexander Jaramillo Diez (Col) Jamis - Hagens Berman  
DNFTravis Livermon (USA) Team SmartStop  
DNFAustin Ulich (USA) United Healthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project  
DNFStuart Wight (Can) H&R Block Pro Cycling Team  
DNFAndrew Scarano (USA) United Healthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project  
DNFJacob Arnold (USA) Piedmont Flyers  
DNFGlenn Ferreira (USA) Metra / Cycles 54  
DNFAustin Vincent (USA) Airgas-Safeway Cycling Team  
DNFMax Jenkins (USA) Astellas Professional Cycling Team  
DNFDerek Schanze (USA) Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching  
DNFMichael Burliegh (USA) GS Ciao  
DNFSamuel Hunter Snipe Grove (USA) Incycle-Cannondale  
DNFPhillip Gaimon (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
DNFStephen Hyde (USA) Astellas Professional Cycling Team  
DNFDavid Williams (USA) Jamis - Hagens Berman  
DNFCurtis White (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies  
DNFAndrew Dahlheim (USA) Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching  
DNFTimothy Rugg (USA) Ride With Rendall p/b Biemme  
DNFAngus Morton (Aus) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis  
DNFKevin Massicotte (Can) Jet Fuel  
DNFDan Lam (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson/Trek U23 Cycling  
DNFWill Cooper (USA) QCW Cycling P/b Breakaway Bikes  
DNFMatt Green (Gbr) Astellas Professional Cycling Team  
DNFFelix Cote Bouvette (Can) H&R Block Pro Cycling Team  
DNFQuinten Winkel (Ned) Crca-Foundation Elite  
DNFMike Stone (USA) Lupus Racing Team  
DNFFletcher Lydick (USA) United Healthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project  
DNFMarcus Christie (Irl) Gateway Harley-Davidson/Trek U23 Cycling  
DNFAndrès Miguel Diaz Corrales (Col) Incycle-Cannondale  
DNFAdam Myerson (USA) Astellas Professional Cycling Team  
DNFZach Allison (USA) Piedmont Flyers  
DNFJames Schurman (USA) Lupus Racing Team  
DNFMicah Engle (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson/Trek  
DNFCory Lewis Williams (USA) Incycle-Cannondale  
DNFJosh Yeaton (USA) GS Ciao  
DNFAndrew Crater (USA) Ride With Rendall p/b Biemme  
DNFNick Jowsey (NZl) Lupus Racing Team  
DNFJacob Sitler (USA) Astellas Professional Cycling Team  
DNFAdam Koble (USA) United Healthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project  
DNFColton Valentine (USA) QCW Cycling P/b Breakaway Bikes  
DNFJohnathan Freter (USA) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis  
DNFNathaniel Ward (USA) Piedmont Flyers  
DNFBraydon Bourne (Can) Jet Fuel  
DNFAdam Leibovitz (USA) Bissell-Abg-Giant  
DNFJonathan Jacob (USA) Bissell-Abg-Giant  
DNFGreg Capelle (USA) Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching  
DNFNicholas Rogers (USA) QCW Cycling P/b Breakaway Bikes  
DNFRobert Marion (USA) All Stars-Velocious Sport  
DNFAlexandr Braico (Mda) Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis  
DNFWinston David (USA) Lupus Racing Team  
DNFTanner Putt (USA) UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team  
DNFRoss Marklein (USA) QCW Cycling P/b Breakaway Bikes  
DNFJordan Diekema (USA) Bissell-Abg-Giant  
DNFBrian Hill (USA) United Healthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project  
DNFStephen Vogel (USA) All Stars-Velocious Sport  
DNFJohn Delong (USA) Metra / Cycles 54  
DNFJoshua Johnson (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson/Trek  
DNFRyan Rapolas (USA) QCW Cycling P/b Breakaway Bikes  
DNFSammy Moseley (USA) Crca-Foundation Elite  
DNFGorgi Popstefanov (Mkd) Metra / Cycles 54  
DNFMichael Pincus (USA) Crca-Foundation Elite  
DNFBailey Mcknight (Can) H&R Block Pro Cycling Team  
DNFCristian Torres (Col) Crca-Foundation Elite  
DNFCorey Davis (USA) Isagenix / SeaSucker / Guttenplan Coaching  
DNFShane Braley (USA) Ride With Rendall p/b Biemme  
DNFDavid Flynn (USA) All Stars-Velocious Sport  
DNFMark Jellous (USA) Piedmont Flyers  
DNFConnor Brown (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson/Trek  
DNFYukinori Hishinuma (Jpn) Amore AMO Vita - Selle SMP  
DNFStephen Alexander (Tto) Crca-Foundation Elite  
DNFGaelen Merritt (Can) Jet Fuel  
DNFDave Lombardo (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson/Trek  
DNFCarson Lange (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson/Trek  
DNFChristopher Zieman (USA) Piedmont Flyers  
DNFAlex Ryan (USA) All Stars-Velocious Sport  
DNFRyan Macdonald (Can) H&R Block Pro Cycling Team  
DNFSergio Hernandez (USA) Incycle-Cannondale  
DNFBill Elliston (USA) Metra / Cycles 54  
DNFDavid Duquette (USA) Ride With Rendall p/b Biemme  
DNFMatt Moosa (USA) All Stars-Velocious Sport  
DNFShawn Gravois (USA) Lupus Racing Team  
DNFWestley Richards (USA) Piedmont Flyers  
DNFMark Hyatt (USA) Metra / Cycles 54  
DNFMax Ackerman (USA) Gateway Harley-Davidson/Trek  
DNFNathan Williams (USA) Bissell-Abg-Giant  
DNFAlejandro Guzman (USA) Crca-Foundation Elite  
DNFLuke Vanlauwe (Can) Jet Fuel  
DNFJon Crowson (USA) Ride With Rendall p/b Biemme  
DNFThomas Barnett (USA) Metra / Cycles 54  
DNFDennis Cottreau (Can) Ride With Rendall p/b Biemme  
DNFMatthew Bruner (USA) Piedmont Flyers  
DNFPat Raines (USA) All Stars-Velocious Sport  
DNFJoseph Carpisassi (USA) Piedmont Flyers  
DNFNathan Elliott (Aus) H&R Block Pro Cycling Team  
DNFBrain Trafford (Can) Ride With Rendall p/b Biemme  
DNSJon Hamblen (USA) All Stars-Velocious Sport  
DNSWyatt Galley (Can) Ride With Rendall p/b Biemme  
DNSGreg Leach (USA) Metra / Cycles 54  
DQRobin Carpenter (USA Hincapie Racing Team  


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