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Fan Club: Toms Skujiņš

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We do a lot of paparazzi-style creeping on teams and athletes. Mostly in hotel lobbies. Not always, but mostly. Also, mostly around Team Cannondale. As you know, we’re intimate with many of the guys, our guys, the faves, we talk, we do interviews, we party. But. Realistically we’re talking about five dudes. Anyway, this year we’re getting access to the whole team more than ever, thanks Matthew. For photoshoots and what have you, which is how we recruit. This is where and when we do it. It starts with some eye contact. You vibe them out, they vibe you out. You ask them to do a cool trick for the camera, maybe they say yes, maybe they don’t. It’s a dance, really. With Toms it was clear right from the start. He had the look. We were ready for each other. We have no idea who this kid is, or where he comes from. All we know is that we like him. He’s got IT. You can just tell. And sometimes you just gotta go all-in. We went all-in. Here is an informative, interesting and entertaining interview with a 24 year old Latvian human cycling athlete. Please enjoy.


Please settle this matter: is the “s” in your first name silent? If it is, do you find it funny when people pronounce it, and make it sound like you are an army of Toms?

Not silent. However if I meet someone I’m most likely going to see once in my life I make it easy on them and say: ‘Hi, I’m Tom.“ In reality all male names in Latvian end with an “s”, except the awkward “o” or if your name is “Sasha”. Female names end with “a” or “e”. That’s Latvian 101 for you all.

Are you an Army of Toms?

Seen The Prestige? I’ve got a twin that no one knows about and we swap in stage races.

Tell us your secrets for drafting and creating a successful cycling fantasy league team.

Find the biggest guy in your group and sit behind him as close as you can. Fantasy league team is trickier. Some inside info is always useful…

Do you have any secrets for finding a good apartment in Girona?

Find a place that someone still lives in and make them move out.

What were your impressions when trying s’mores for the first time?

Was actually a long time ago, when I was 10 maybe. Friends of mine had come back from the States with this crazy dessert made on a bonfire. Was delicious. Since then, I’m a fan.

Below are links to the most popular songs in the US and the UK the day you were born. Please listen to these (and watch), and let us know what you think of each.

Color Me Badd – I Wanna Sex You Up: Damn that one is hilarious. Pretty much what all music nowadays is about, huh? I mean the “popular” music. Those guys were pioneers! Paula Abdul – Rush Rush: I’ve actually heard this one. Nice and mellow. A classic.

According to Urban Dictionary, Northern Irish youth currently use the term “baltic” as slang to describe a severe amount of cool. Synonymous with chill, radical, sweet and awesome. Would you describe yourself as a baltic Baltic? Why, why not?

For sure I’m Baltic. But only because I’m from the Baltic. Although I’d say I’m chill too.

The subreddit devoted to Latvian jokes leads us to believe that 90% of Latvian humor revolves around potatoes, secret police, and the politburo. Is this accurate, or a gross and insulting misrepresentation?

I don’t find any jokes offensive, because they’re jokes and who doesn’t love a good potato joke. Although sometimes they are a hard find and you’ve got to really dig for em. Here’s one for you.

Can you tell us what the Olas song “Keep Calm Like Kristaps Porzingis” is about? Is it literally about being calm like Porzingis? Is he known for being calm? Do you like the song?

“Olas” means “huevos” if you know what I’m saying. 50% of the song is literally “Keep calm like Kristaps Porziņģis” and the other 50% is pretty much them saying how cool they are. Not a great song.

Do you like basketball or the Knicks?

Ice hockey over basketball any day. But I still enjoy a good NBA game.

Can you make us a Baltic Playlist? 10 songs or more. Maybe it has a theme? Maybe it doesn’t. If it were us we’d ask for the 10 best Baltic House/Electronic songs of all time.

1 Los Amigos Pumpiņrasa 2 Apvedcels Kamer List 3 Inokentijs Mārpls Eu, priekšniek! 4 Punks Not Dead Spriditis 5 Gustavo Taisna Tiesa 6 Cosmos Billie Jean 7 Carnival Youth SURF 8 BrainStorm Thunder Without Rain 9 MAKREE feat DVINES LOUD

What’s the best move you’ve ever done in a bike race. Like, what is your proudest moment racing professionally?

One real good move was last year at Redding 120. I took a turn too hot and went off the road. When chasing back I overcooked another one and had to jump onto the grass, onto the sidewalk, and back on the road. Brian was almost pissing himself in the car. A few minutes later a wheel from the support moto came loose, started rolling towards me and almost took me out again. Craziest race I’ve ever done.

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve ever done in a race?

Gotten into a fight on a bike. The dumb thing was that I didn’t even manage to land a punch, just lost balance and crashed on my knee so bad I couldn’t ride for four days.

Who’s your favorite dude to talk to in the peleton? What do you guys talk about in there?

Andžs, one of my Latvian buddies. Just because we can talk in the native tongue and share our dreams about potatoes.

What’s the strangest/lamest/funniest/craziest thing you’ve ever heard in there? You can leave out the names and dates and whatnot to preserve whoever’s anonymity. Or not.

Final stage of Alberta 2015, I’m top 10 on GC, Trek is controlling the front. Me and Ty attack, I look back and a Trek guy is trying to follow us and says: “We won’t let you go.” My reply was: “Okay.” After which me and Ty proceeded to ride away, bridge up to the break and blow the Trek team apart. Orica brought us back, but still was pretty funny.

Best place to get a crêpe in Girona, and why?

Crêperie Breton. It has a van inside the restaurant!

Back when US Postal riders lived in Girona, many used to take taxis (instead of the train) from Barcelona-El Prat. Does that make you jealous?

Ha. Not at all. I love the train. Best mode of transportation by far. I spent all 6 years of school going to class and back every day by train. Can get extra sleep in or do some homework.

Please explain floorball to us, and tell us how it’s different (or not) from street hockey.

It’s kind of a sissy version of street hockey. Some small differences: different sticks, different ball, played indoors and rules that don’t allow for much contact.

First poster that you hung on your wall as a kid?

Martin Brodeur. He’s a legend.

How hard is it to get internet service set up in a Spanish apartment?

If you know the system it’s not too bad as long as you have all the paperwork, which is the real trick

Settle the argument once and for all. Best beaches, Jurmala or Cape Kolka?

Between the two, Jurmala. Although I prefer the beach in Carnikava; it’s calm, quiet, but still soft white sand and warm temps two days a year.

Rate these Toms: Tom’s of Maine, Toms Shoes, Tom Tom Club, Transactions on Mathematical Software, TomTom.

Tom’s of Maine: meh. Toms Shoes: sweet kicks. Tom Tom Club: YouTubing it. Transactions on Mathematical Software: love it. Anything that involves numbers is awesome in my book. TOMTOM: = two Tom = Toms. Might be why I’m so good with directions.


Favorite Food

The most versitile veggie: the potato. Fries, chips, pancakes, mash, vodka, might as well be gold.

Favorite Color

Orange, cause you can eat it too.

Favorite Band

“Hideaway” by Kiesza. Mostly because of this video, reminds me of pay day.

Favorite Movie

One of my favourites is Across the Universe. Probably cause I really liked the Beatles.

First Game Console


Favorite Game


Pre-race Superstition

Pinning numbers only the morning of the race.

If you weren’t a cyclist, what would you be?

Statistician. Love numbers.

What do you do when you’re bored?

Look up interesting(usually only to me) statistics.


Two older sisters.

Guilty Pleasure(s)

Latvian chocolate covered marshmallows. Or “Kārums” – chocolate covered cheesecake thingy.



Prized Possession

My potato collection.

What’s most surprising about you?

The moment when I jump out of a dark corner when you least expect it.

If you were a superhero, what would your power be?


Celebrity Crush

Alex Howes, I bet you guys agree.

Celebrity Role Model

Brian Doege. When I grow up want to be like him..

Worst Fear(s)

Running out of potatoes.

Bad Habits

Being a bossy know-it-all.


Don’t you dare.

Favorite Quote

“You can’t fall off the floor, but remember if you work at it real hard you can do whatever you want.”

What’s your favorite smoothie!!!???


Weirdest Dream

Just last night – I was back in school. Being taught Latvian by my math teacher while I’ve got only a towel around my waist and the principal comes in. What?!

Hidden Talents

Climbing trees.

Fanmail Address

The only place I’ve returned to every year: Lasu 18, Carnikava, Latvia. Send ‘em over.

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