Timmy Duggan staged an impressive feat of strength in the Amgen Tour of California: together with his teammate Ted King, the Liquigas-Cannondale rider was key in controlling the race in order to set up Peter Sagan for his five stage victories. Duggan rode at the front every day, went into a breakaway on stage four to Clovis and then set a blistering pace on the stage to Big Bear to try and bring back the lone escapee. That ride earned him the Most Courageous jersey award.
Duggan will be relieved of his domestique duties next week for the US Pro Championships in Greenville, South Carolina. He hopes that he and King can repeat their performance of last year where King placed third, and maybe even Duggan himself can land on the podium this time around.
"I'm certainly shooting for that and confident about it," Duggan told Cyclingnews. "Ted and I did a good result last year with him on the podium and just the two of us, hopefully we can replicate that this year.
"It's kind of a chaotic race, and Ted and I are only a two-man team, and we're fighting teams that might have 10 or 12 guys. You just do your best. I hope it's a hard, hot race. It's a race that suits me with a hill, but not a finishing hill. We'll just try to play our cards right and see what happens."
After years of working for others, will Duggan, 29, one day have his chance to be the star rider?
"Maybe someday. You take it step by step: right now I'm focusing on being the best domestique I can be. I don't have the best sprint and I'm not the best climber, but I'm pretty good all around otherwise. I can be on the front all day and get through a lot of stuff. I just don't have that kick at the end.
"I'm still young, and I think that's something that can come later in my career. Right now I'm just focusing on delivering my teammates who are the race winners to the line on a silver platter, and that's the best I can do for the moment. We'll take it race by race, year by year and see what happens.
"There were other riders in the past, someone like Tyler Hamilton for example, I see myself as a similar type of rider as him. He really focused on his domestique duties and later in his career he was able to have an opportunity to train to be a race winner. That came later on. Hopefully there is a similar path for me."