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During the 2022 Tour de France the Trek Segafredo rider Toms Skujiņš will be writing an exclusive blog for VeloNews.com. The Latvian time trial champion is heading into his fifth Tour and will be sharing his insight as the race departs from Denmark on July 1 and heads back through France.
Hello, my name is Toms Skujiņš, and I ride for Trek Segafredo. We are just days away from the 2022 Tour de France roll out, where I will be breaking the record for most starts by a Latvian by starting my fifth edition.
Through those years at the Tour, there have been some constants, and some changes. All of my five participations have been on a Trek bike. And there have been a few times when I’ve been lucky enough to wear the Latvian national champion’s colours on my back. This year, I will be wearing them in the individual time trials and not on the road stages after my time trial win back home. Luckily, we kick off this year’s edition with a race against the clock, so I will get to show those colours early on, and I’m really excited about that opportunity to show off the jersey to a global audience.
Every year at the Tour de France has its ups and downs, and I am sure this one will be exactly the same. In my first Tour de France back in 2018 I was lucky, and strong enough, to take the king of the mountains jersey off the shoulders of a French rider, and wore it for almost a week. Julian Alaphilippe eventually took it off me on stage 10 but it was a great experience nevertheless. In other years I have helped the team to some stage wins, and even a podium finish in Paris for Richie Porte in 2020.
I have also managed to come close to winning a stage, placing second into Loudenvielle in 2020, but for now that win eludes me. Fortunately, this year the whole team is planning on stage hunting, so there most definitely will be opportunities for me to fight for a ‘W’.
Speaking of my teammates. Trek-Segafredo is sending quite the roster. We are eight riders from eight countries. Of course we couldn’t go without having a Dane on the team too. Why you ask?
Well, in case you have missed it, we start the lap around France in Denmark. Kinda odd right?
Even more so because we start on a Friday, instead of a Saturday, and therefore we get an extra rest day, three instead of two. Will that change the racing? Probably not.
It’s a first for me, but I think the extra rest day will be nice. There will be plenty of fatigue by the time we get to Paris anyway. As I mentioned before we start with an individual time trial. It’s a fairly short one, just 13km, so that means the gaps won’t be too big. Why is that good? Because there are also bonus seconds available on stage 2 and 3 so we could possibly see the yellow jersey change hands before we leave Denmark. I think that will make for an exciting event to watch and nervous one to race.
If you enjoy some perspective from within the race then you should also be thankful for the extra rest day as that will give me a chance to write another blog for VeloNews. By then I’ll be able to tell you about the welcome we got in Denmark and if we managed to make the locals happy by pulling something special off. In the meantime while I’m running (and riding) around Denmark, if you have any questions feel free to shoot them to me over on Twitter @Tomashuuns and I will try to respond to them on the next blog.