Timmy Duggan Interview: going from Garmin, lining up with Liquigas
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Friday, October 22, 2010

Timmy Duggan Interview: going from Garmin, lining up with Liquigas

by Ed Hood at 12:42 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Fresh start in 2011 for US professional

Timmy DugganGarmin's 27 year-old US pro Timmy Duggan has come a long way back from that day in the 2008 Tour of Georgia when he hit the tarmac at 100 km/h and was left with life-threatening injuries.

Last year it looked like his rehabilitation was complete with a fine second place on a Dauphine mountain stage. However, 2010 has been blighted by health and injury issues.

Season 2011 promises to be better, boosted by the news that he's just signed for Italian 'super squadra' Liquigas.

After six years with Jonathan Vaughters at TIAA-Cref, Slipstream and Garmin-Transitions, Duggan has decided that it's time for change. The Colorado rider will soon turn this thoughts towards the 2011 season but, before then, he’s in Utsunomiya making final preparations for what will be his last race with Garmin: the Japan Cup.

Velo Nation: You will be racing with Liquigas-Cannondale for 2011… how did that come about?

Timmy Duggan: Although I was contracted with Garmin through 2011, an opportunity with Liquigas came up - my manager was approached by them at the Canadian UCI races - and with the re-shuffling of riders with the Garmin-Cervelo merger for 2011, I was able to make the switch to the new team on good terms.

With Cannondale taking on a bigger sponsorship role with the Liquigas team, they wanted US riders on board. (note: ex-Cervelo rider Ted King will also be joining the Italian squadra). I've spent my whole career with Jonathan Vaughters and I've loved my time there but I just feel like a change. I'll be climbing the same mountain but by a different path.

VN: Did the Garmin/Cervelo merger come as a shock?

TD: It was a surprise, yes. But the team has restructured before and JV has always kept that family vibe, so I'm sure he'll retain it on this occasion, too.

VN: Is now a good time to be a pro?

TD: Every single year there are drug scandals - having said that I think the sport is cleaner than it's ever been - and teams fold. But there are always teams coming up and I don't really think that now is much different from any other time.

VN: Are Cannondale looking for the team to ride more US races?

TD: Now that they're co-sponsor, the US races do assume more importance. I've not discussed my programme yet but the Tour of California is an important race for the team and I'd love to ride the new Quiznos Pro Challenge - that's over my home roads in Colorado.

VN: How's the health?

TD: I finally feel good, this is my first big block of racing, back after three broken bones. I feel good, the pieces of the jigsaw are back together, I feel strong and good on my bike.

Tim DugganAfter Lombardy I have the Japan Cup and I'm really looking forward to it - normally at this stage of the season I wouldn't be looking forward to travelling half way round the world to race, but I'm so keen to compete that I'm excited about the prospect.

I've only raced 20-odd days this season so I'm very motivated. Johny Weltz, our DS rode the course and finished 10th way back when Rudy Dhaenens won the Worlds on it, so we have a bit of an advantage.

VN: What are your thoughts on Mondialisation ?

TD: It's a good thing to promote the sport, especially in the less developed countries. Every one knows what a bicycle is and can relate to racing them.
The only thing is that it's a tough enough sport already without crazy travel all over the world…there would have to be regulations about that aspect of it. But if they use those UCI races in Canada as a model, then they'd do well. The venue, the transportation, everything was super-smooth.

VN: Will you be sticking with Girona as your home ?

TD: Yes, I've been based there for three years and I'm going to continue to live there with my wife and dog - we're part of the community. Anyway, with the globalisation of racing - the Americas, Australia, Asia - it's becoming less and less important where you live.

VN: Will you be learning Italian ?

TD: I'll be going full gas to learn Italian, yes. I speak Spanish and French so I'm sure I'll be fine with Italian - it's hugely important for communication in races.

VN: What are you looking forward to most ?

TD: A new environment, a new structure; it's been great at Garmin but it's a bit stale for me now, this'll be a new start.

VN: When's the first training camp ?

TD: The end of November at San Pellegrino. The new guys meet the old guys for team bonding and some mountain biking - but I guess it'll be pretty slow !

VN: Do you want an early start to your season?

TD: I've done so little racing this season that I'd like to start early, yes. There's San Luis in Argentina and the Tour Down Under.

I started back after my brain injury in the Tour Down Under a few years ago; it's a tough way to start but it get's you back into the groove very quickly.

VN: 2011 will be a success for you if . . .

TD: I have good health, integrate well with the team and learn more of my craft.


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