Trek-Segafredo have announced the contract extension of Latvian rider Toms Skujiņš, who will go into his third season with the WorldTour team in 2020. At the same time, it was announced that Skujiņš' compatriot, Emïls Liepiņš, would join the team for next season.
Skujiņš joined the team in 2018 from Cannondale-Drapac, and that year won a stage of the Tour of California, the one-day Tre Valli Varesine and the Trofeo Lloseta–Andratx – part of the Challenge Mallorca – as well as the Latvian national titles in the time trial in 2018 and the road race this year.
"My first Tour de France was on this team, my first national titles in both the road race and individual time trial have been on this team, and I got to ride the world championship team time trial in Innsbruck [in 2018] with these guys, so there are a lot of very good memories, and it's all thanks to the trust the team has put in me," Skujiņš said in a press release.
"There are still some good races that I'm looking forward to this year, and I know we'll put on some good racing for the fans," he added. "Of course, next year is already on my mind a little, too, and – who knows? – maybe it's time to go see what the fuss is about at the Giro d'Italia.
"However, one way or another it will be a fun 2020, because not only will I be riding for Trek-Segafredo yet again, but there will be a human on the team I can speak Latvian with, so I don't get so homesick," he said.
Twenty-six-year-old Emïls Liepiņš has been riding this season for Belgian Pro Continental outfit Wallonie-Bruxelles, winning a stage of the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali in March. The previous year, he rode for the now defunct British Continental squad One Pro Cycling, with whom he won Belgian one-day race the Market Heistse Pijl.
"Toms is right – it will be cool to be with another Latvian on the team and be able to speak our language," Liepiņš said. "But, more importantly, I'm very excited to join one of the best teams in the world.
"Trek-Segafredo, in its previous versions, was my favourite team when I was a child, and I can barely believe I will be part of this team next year, and feel very honoured about it. I look forward to showing my best qualities on the road and will give it my all."
The team's general manager, Luca Guercilena, added that Liepiņš was a "strong, fast and versatile" rider who will be capable of supporting his new teammates in a range of situations.
"He can help in the Classics but can also do a lead-out and protect our GC riders in smaller stage races," he said. "As for Toms, we all know his qualities as a rider and a person. He is popular amongst fans, and he has shown himself to be a gutsy rider that is not scared to leave it all out on the road – an attitude that has proven to be fruitful and led him to the victory in more than one occasion.
"I'm happy to have both Emïls and Toms on the team for next year, and I'm confident that they'll be of great value," said Guercilena.
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