Tomas Vaitkus (born February 4, 1982 in Klaip?da) is a Lithuanian professional road racing cyclist who most recently rode for UCI Pro Team Astana. In 2002, while just 20 years old, he won the Under-23 Time Trail at the World Championships in Belgium beating his closest rival by 41 seconds – averaging 51.5 km/h on a 33.2 km course. He turned pro the follow year joining the Belgium Continental cycling team Landbouwkrediet-Colnago.
Nicknamed Tomas the Tank Engine he has ridden for AG2R Prévoyance (2005-2006), Discovery Channel (2007), and Astana (2008-2009). He made his Tour de France debut in 2007 but had to abandon after the 2nd stage due to multiple thumb fractures (that later required surgery) when he was caught up in a large crash in the final 3 kilometers of the second stage – which was coincidentally won by current RadioShack teammate Gert Steegmans.
Tomas got his start in the sport from his father who road for a Soviet Union Team. He is a good classics rider who has enjoyed a lot of success in his country’s national championship competitions taking 4 wins throughout the years in both Individual Time Trials and Road competitions.
His major results include: 1st U23 Time Trial World Champion in 2002, 1st National Champion Individual Time Trial and 1st Stage 5 Danmark Rundt in 2003, 1st Stage 5 Danmark Rundt, 1st National Champion Road Race, and 1st National Champion Individual Time Trial in 2004, 1st Grand Prix Ühispanga Tartu, 2nd Grote Scheldeprijs and 4th overall Danmark Rundt in 2005, 1st Stage 9 Giro d’Italia in 2006, 3rd Volta ao Algarve and 6th Tour of Flanders in 2007, 1st Stage 2 Volta ao Algarve, 1st Ronde van het Groene Hart, and 1st National Champion Road Race in 2008.
By George Hurst