Timmy Duggan (Garmin-Transitions) will be looking for a strong performance in this weekend’s Tour of Lombardy before closing out his season at the Japan Cup. His trip to the Far East will be the end of his career at Garmin-Transitions, and the American already has one eye on his future at Liqugias-Cannondale.
Duggan has been part of the Slipstream set up since it was first run as TIAA-CREF/5280 in 2005. Since then he has seen Jonathan Vaughters’ squad develop into one of the most powerful teams in the world. Yet with a new opportunity and challenges on the horizon, Duggan is hoping to make a success of it in Italy, assuming he can stay fit and healthy.
"I owe much of my development and successes to the Slipstream program under Jonathan Vaughters my whole career and while I truly appreciate it here and love working riding for Team Garmin-Transitions," he told Cyclingnews.
"I look forward to the new opportunities and new path on Team Liquigas-Cannondale. I was contracted with Garmin through 2011, but an opportunity with Liquigas came up and with the reshuffling of riders with the Garmin-Cervelo deal for 2011 I was able to make the switch to a new team on good terms."
Duggan has had a difficult few years. He sustained serious head injuries 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, with a decent block of racing now in his legs he’s looking forward to his final two races with Garmin before moving to pastures new.
"I’m super motivated and I wish there was another month to go. I’ve finally got a block of racing under me which I haven't had all season. Before this I would only have three or four days of racing before I’d crash. I feel like a different person now and hope I can take advantage of that. They’re my only two chances for a big ride in the entire season," he told Cyclingnews.
Liquigas’ interest was sparked when they announced that American bike company Cannondale were stepping up as a co-sponsor. Along with Duggan, the Italian team have signed his fellow American Ted King.
"I was in Canada and they approached my manager about the team for next year. With Cannondale they needed some American flair. I ended up signing with them and I’m really looking forward to it."
Undaunted by the cultural shift between an American and Italian squad, Duggan has already made an effort to fit in with his new teammates. A fluent converser in French and Spanish, he’s already taken up Italian lessons and draws parallels between his current and future teams.
"Each team has its own culture and going from Garmin to an Italian team will be a big change but I’m excited and motivated about it. The biggest thing is that the team operates like a big family, on and off the bike, they’re there for each other and have each other’s back. That’s something we have at Garmin and it’s something that’s really important to me."
Duggan has yet to finalise his race schedule for next year but with the team’s first training camp just weeks away he’s already contemplating the type of racing he’d like.
"We’ve not talked too much about race schedule but id like to concentrate more on stage races. I only did one stage race this year and it would be nice to do a few more this year."