Boasson Hagen, Velits to bring national championship jerseys to Tour de France

A number of riders will bring newly-won national championship jerseys to the Tour de France: in the time trial titles earlier this week, Kanstanstin Siutsou and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky Procycling), Gatis Smukulis (Katusha), Maciej Bodnar and Brian Vandborg (Cannondale), Peter Velits and Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) each earned new kits in Belarus, Norway, Latvia, Poland, Denmark, Slovakia, France and the Netherlands, respectively.

Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) renewed his German title but will remain in the rainbow jersey of world champion in the time trials at the Tour.

Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) took out the Estonian road race championship today.

Siutsou will wear the red and green of Belarus in the Tour's time trial, while Boasson Hagen hopes to keep the blue cross on red background of Norwegian road race champion tomorrow after taking the time trial on Thursday.

“Getting the title back was a big goal for me and I’m glad I achieved it," Boasson Hagen said after Thursday's victory. "I treated the Dauphine time trial a few weeks ago as practice for this, and although I actually felt better there, I was putting down more watts out here and that’s good news heading into the Tour de France."

Only 12 of the 22 teams in the Tour de France have announced their rosters, with many directeurs sportifs looking to results in the national championships to select their final nine men.

Movistar's Jonathan Castroviejo, Rui Costa and Alex Dowsett may have moved themselves up a notch in the process by taking out the Spanish, Portuguese and British titles, respectively. Astana's Tanel Kangert and Alexsandr Dyachenko also proved their mettle: Kangert won the Estonian time trial championship and Dyachenko claimed the Kazakh road race title today.

Ioannis Tamouridis (Euskaltel-Euskadi) had extra motivation to win his Greek time trial title: the team's soigneur Rufino Murguía Herrero was badly injured in an automobile accident on his way to the Spanish championship races.

"This victory is dedicated to Rufino, our masseur," Tamouridis said. "He has had a serious accident and he is on all of our minds. We are sure that he will improve little by little, and I send him a big hug and lots of encouragement from here."

The national championships continue through Sunday.

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