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Skujins takes the win in Winston-Salem

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Toms Skujiņš (Hincapie) wins in Winston-Salem

Toms Skujiņš (Hincapie) wins in Winston-Salem (Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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Fans watch as the race passes by.

Fans watch as the race passes by. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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The men head out on another lap.

The men head out on another lap. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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A rider gets a new wheel as the race passes by.

A rider gets a new wheel as the race passes by. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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The break passes through neighborhoods during todays race.

The break passes through neighborhoods during todays race. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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Jure Kocjan (SmartStop) stays towards the front of the race.

Jure Kocjan (SmartStop) stays towards the front of the race. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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The breakaway group on the way to the KOM.

The breakaway group on the way to the KOM. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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Jesse Anthony (Optum) tries to fight his way back to the breakaway.

Jesse Anthony (Optum) tries to fight his way back to the breakaway. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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Toms Skujins (Hincapie) passes by for his final lap.

Toms Skujins (Hincapie) passes by for his final lap. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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Jesse Anthony (Optum) drives the front of the chase.

Jesse Anthony (Optum) drives the front of the chase. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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Travis McCabe (SmartStop) works on the front of the field.

Travis McCabe (SmartStop) works on the front of the field. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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Toms Skujins (Hincapie) taking the win.

Toms Skujins (Hincapie) taking the win. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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Jure Kocjan (SmartStop) makes his way in for second place.

Jure Kocjan (SmartStop) makes his way in for second place. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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Todays top three for the mens race.

Todays top three for the mens race. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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Riders on the way up one of the final climbs.

Riders on the way up one of the final climbs. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)
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Evan Huffman (SmartStop) leads the mid race break.

Evan Huffman (SmartStop) leads the mid race break. (Image credit: Jonathan Devich)

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."

Results

#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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