Fresh from his first training camp with Liqugias-Cannondale, Timmy Duggan is raring to go after a number of injury-hit years with Garmin-Transitions. The American is currently back in his home in Spain, but will hook up with his Italian teammates next week in Sardinia for another two-week long training camp.
“It was a nice get off on the right foot with all the team and staff. We were on a mountain pass with nothing but a couple of hotels and a few mountain passes. We didn’t have any distractions from the media or lots of other things. We could just start off on the right foot which was really important the for the team as we have around eight or nine new faces,” Duggan told Cyclingnews.
In fact Liquigas have gone through one of the biggest exoduses in their history with Francesco Chicchi (Quick Step), Robert Kiserlovski (Astana), Roman Kreuziger (Astana), Manuel Quinziato (BMC), Ivan Santaromita (BMC), Oliver Zaugg and Daniele Benatti (Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project) all leaving. Twelve new faces, including Duggan have come in.
Duggan himself has had a difficult few years. He sustained serious head injuries in a crash at the Tour de Georgia in 2008 and despite a few flashes of success in 2009, had another tough season this year.
In February he crashed in the Tour Méditerranéen and broke his shoulder. Following time off the bike he crashed again at Amstel Gold, this time breaking his collar bone. That wasn’t the end of his bad luck and in July he broke his elbow.
However, having signed from Garmin-Transitions and with a new team and a fresh outlook on racing under a different culture, Duggan feels he is moving in the right direction. It hasn’t been without sacrifice though, and with two almost back-to-back camps the American has been forced to spend just a short period at home in the US with his wife.
“We’ll finalise all the race programme next week at our training camp in Sardinia but for now it’s looking like a busy April with Pais Vasco and a couple of the hilly classics with the lead-up to racing well at the Tour of California and my national championships,” Duggan added.
Liquigas’s next camp will give Duggan more time to settle in with his new team.
“It’s a totally different culture [to Garmin]. That’s not good or bad, it’s just different and takes a bit of getting used to whether you’re planning things or talking at the dinner table. It’s definitely one big family though and everyone is watching each others' backs.
“The team are super motivated and we’re there to race at every event and there’s a goal all the time. Of course, like everyone else on the team, I’ll be given my chance and being an American rider at the American races I’ll be given a little more responsibility to go for results. We’ll finalise my goals next week in Sardinia.”