Joe Dombrowski will bring his first year as a professional to a close at this weekend’s Japan Cup. The American has been racing at the Tour of Beijing for the past five days, finishing in 19th place overall, 59 seconds down on the winner Beñat Intxausti, after a strong showing on the penultimate stage.
Dombrowski joined team Team Sky for the 2013 season, along with teammate and fellow countryman Ian Boswell, after two years on the Bontrager-Livestrong team.
Cyclingnews spoke to Dombrowski ahead of the final stage of the Tour of Beijing to discuss his debut season in the British squad. “I’ve enjoyed it,” said Dombrowski. “Sky is definitely a good first team to come to. In a race, I’ve learned about riding as a team and being efficient in the peloton.”
“It’s definitely a big change,” he continued. “It’s a big jump in the level of racing and the number of race days and the training as well. It’s also the change of moving to Europe and living there full time. It’s definitely a year where I’ve had a lot of big changes but I think I’ll come into next year with a bit more perspective and I’ll know what I’m in for.”
Dombrowski is one of Sky’s major prospects for the future as a general classification rider, as he demonstrated by winning the Girobio last season ahead of Astana’s Fabio Aru. The American also took an impressive 10th place in the general classification at the 2012 USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
“There are a lot of good GC riders to learn from here,” said Dombrowski. “There’s an environment that allows you to develop over time and there isn’t a whole load of pressure and good guys to learn from as well. Everybody is pretty easy to get along with and they’re pretty easy going.”
Unusually for a first year professional, Dombrowski was named as the team leader for this season’s USA Pro Cycling Challenge. He was forced to abandon ahead of stage three while suffering from dry air nose bleeds. He made his return at the WorldTour races in Canada, before heading out to China.
Despite the setbacks, Dombrowski has showed a lot of promise, and he was part of the strong Sky line-up that won the opening team time trial at the Giro del Trentino. With his maiden season almost at a close, Dombrowski is already looking ahead to 2014.
“I just want to continue getting experience,” he says. “I want to help the team and maybe get some results of my own. I haven’t really thought about the calendar much. I’ve heard that we might do more racing in America and I’d like to go back and do some of those, but we’ll have to wait and see.”