Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) has taken his first victory for his team today at the Trofeo Lloseta – Andratx, the third day of the Mallorca Challenge.
After an impressive display of teamwork from Trek-Segafrefo, Skujins attacked with around 7 kilometres remaining and held off all competition to the line to savour a solo victory in Andratx.
The race featured a hilly parcours over 165 kilometres, with two categorised climbs and rolling hills throughout. Such an amount of climbing combined with uncharacteristic inclement weather meant this race was never going to be easy.
There were many attacks from the moment the flag dropped, but none were allowed much breathing room due to the relentless pace of the peloton. Eventually, a group of escapees – Elie Gesbert (Fortuneo-Samsic), Daniel Turek (Israel Cycling Academy) and Preben Van Hecke (Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise) – jumped clear for a while, but never gained a decent lead.
Skujins’ team-mate Michael Gogl attack on a descent was the first to look threatening, and he gained a decent advantage of just over a minute over a reduced bunch. Gogl rode strongly and lead solo for 60 kilometres, an effort which earned him the day’s combativity award and set the stage for Skujins’ attack.
By forcing the other teams to do the chasing, Skujins had the perfect opportunity to launch his winning move in the closing kilometres. The young Latvian talent took his chance with both hands, holding off Gregor Muhlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Elmar Reinders (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) and the rest of the peloton all the way to the line to take an impressive solo victory – his first since joining the team – which takes Trek-Segafredo’s winning tally up to three this season.
Gregor Muhlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) took second place with Elmar Reinders (Roompot-Nederlandse Loterij) taking the final podium place.
“That was hard, much harder than expected”, said race winner Skujins afterwards. “I was in trouble a lot of times but in the end with the teamwork we had it was just incredible. The way we rode today it was really a pleasure to be wearing the Trek-Segafredo Jersey. We never sat back, we were always up there for the action, and if it were not for Michael Gogl going on the attack for 60kms, we wouldn’t have won today. We saw in the end when Gogl was still solo – we had 3 or 4 guys in the next group so all we had to do was follow the wheels, and that we could go on the offensive again when he was caught.”