Tomas Vaitkus Earns Third Lithuanian National Road TitleSun 23 Jun 2013
Tomas Vaitkus earned his third Lithuanian national road title from a five rider breakaway that formed during the last hour of racing. Plagued by injuries throughout the last two seasons, Vaitkus' wins confirms his condition is on the upswing.
“It’s a good feeling to win the race and wear the national jersey,” said Vaitkus. “It’s always special. I feel better and more confident with my condition. I think this is a good time for me to have this performance and show improvements.”
Vaitkus described the race as hard-fought. An early breakaway of two riders established more than a ten minute advantage before the field began to chase. With the gap falling, riders in the bunch began to attack. Eventually, Vaitkus slipped free of the peloton with four other riders.
“It wasn’t so easy today even when we got away from the peloton,” explained Vaitkus. “Ignatas Konovalovas (MTN Qhubeka) attacked on the last lap. He was really strong today. Maybe he was the strongest opponent for me. I really needed to work hard not to let him go to the line alone.”
Vaitkus’ efforts brought the group back together before the finish, and the race was decided by a five-up sprint. Vaitkus bested Konovalovas and Evaldas Siskevicius (Sojasun) to take the title.
“I’m happy to come back to our national colours,” said Vaitkus, who last wore the national champion jersey in 2008. “I feel proud when I can race in it.”