The Lithuanian pro on almost an entire career spent at the same team


I live in the south of France.

It’s good here - always good weather, and I enjoy the training. I have been in Marseille since 2008, so it has already been 13 years, which is quite a long time, even though it doesn’t feel that long. I was with my national team, and one of my fellow riders proposed me as a candidate for the team that was then called La Pomme Marseille, and I got an invitation to come.

The team has changed a lot from when I started.

I have only missed out one step with this team, which is to go to the WorldTour with it. When I came in 2008, it was one of the best teams in the amateur ranks, then we went to Continenta­l level and then ProConti. I have seen how the the team has grown up, and now there is a big, big difference from the start. You can not even compare. It was a good team, but now it is completely different: the staff, the equipment, we even have two buses now. Now, in each race that we do, we have a mission. Something to do. We get asked for a lot more results too, because we have had a lot of investment from the sponsors.

It was an incredible day when I finished ninth in Roubaix, one of the most beautiful days in my career.

It was a day in which everything went well - I had no punctures, no problems. I had super legs, I made good tactical choices, everything went really well and I really enjoyed it. I have a real history with Paris-Roubaix. The race has given me a lot. It is cool that I can participat­e in the legend of Roubaix.

The year before, my team manager said to me that Roubaix has a history and you need to respect the history of the race.

It’s important. A lot of riders have done this race before, and that’s why I rode to the finish outside the time limit, to respect the race. I just wanted to go to the finish, I cannot explain why or what was happening in my head. Even my wife told me that she didn’t know why I did that. I guess I just got the idea in my head.

We had a good group for cycling in Lithuania, a lot of coaches, but now it is a bit more complicate­d.

We used to do a lot of races with the national team, and we were getting a lot of money from the government, and so we had a lot of riders. At one time, we were one of the best countries in the world. But now we have more difficulti­es with this, and we have fewer and fewer profession­als. On the other hand, we do have a lot more people riding for pleasure now. Cycling is much more popular than it was before. There are only two male profession­als now, me and Ignatas Konovalova­s. There used to be seven or even more.

It was down to my own decisions that I have not made it to the WorldTour.

I have missed some possibilit­ies, especially when we became profession­al and I was getting some results. I was getting liberty here to go for my own results and I was a road captain here. I was enjoying this role. This is why I haven’t moved. Now we will see, because I am at the end of my contract, and the situation is complicate­d everywhere. I would like to try the WorldTour, but you need to consider everything, and it’s complicate­d. I’ve lived in Marseille, since I was 18, so you cannot just pack your luggage up and then move.

I like Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, Tro-Bro Léon, and Paris-Tours.

I enjoy these races every time. These are the races where I perform, and where I feel like I can do something. These are the kind of races where you really need endurance and to make good decisions at special moments, and this is what I like. Maybe I am not such a strong or explosive rider, but I think what I can do is make good decisions and do things at the right moment.

I was really proud to finally get the national title last year.

Each year, I have one or two big results. It is not often I can get a result, but when I do it, it is a big one. I always enjoy this, I know what I can do with my hard work. So when I achieve something I really enjoy it.

 ??  ?? Šiškevičiu­s en route to a career highlight - ninth at Paris- Roubaix 2019
Šiškevičiu­s en route to a career highlight - ninth at Paris- Roubaix 2019
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