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Ivan Dominguez couldn't stay away from the professional racing scene for long.
Sprinter to lead newly formed MRI Performance / Franco Bicycles team
After a brief retirement Ivan Dominguez has announced that he will ride with the newly-formed MRI Performance / Franco Bicycles presented by Win's Wheels Racing Team through the remainder of 2011. The former Saturn, UnitedHealthCare, Colavita and Toyota United rider will bring experience to the team as it finalises plans to field a UCI Continental team in 2012.
Cyclingnews reported Dominguez retirement in late 2010, but after a brief break, the Cuban-American became excited about the prospect of racing again.
"I know a lot of people have no idea why I stopped racing," said Dominguez. "After 20 years on the saddle, racing everywhere, and some really nice wins, I decided to take time off and retire. My wife and son had been there for me all that time and I wanted to spend more time with them, my family.
"But when the Tour of California came around, I texted Chris Horner to congratulate him on winning stage 4. He texted me back with a thank you, and told me that I should get back on the bike and be out there kicking butts too. It was really then that I started thinking that maybe I should start riding again."
"I figured that if nothing else, I would ride for fun."
"The guys at Franco have a team that is sponsored by MRI Performance and they mentioned that they were looking to move up to the Pro class for the rest of 2011 and asked me to be a part of it. I said let's do it. The timing was right it all fell in to place."
Dominguez originally rode for his native Cuba on the track before defecting to the USA program in 1998. His rise to prominence saw him take wins at almost every race on the American racing calendar including the Tour of Missouri, Tour of California and Tour de Georgia.
In 2009 he had a brief stint in Europe with the ill-fated Fuji-Servetto team before returning to the US with Rock Racing. Now 35, Dominguez is hoping to put in one more good season of racing.
Founder of Franco Bicycles, Julian Franco was excited to welcome back Dominguez to the US racing scene.
"We're excited about the wealth of experience that Ivan brings to the team," said Franco. "He will have the opportunity to provide feedback and help in future product development. We're also focused on trying to build a team around him. Ivan is a class act, and the type of person that we at Franco Bicycles are happy to support. He's the consummate professional and arguably still the fastest sprinter in America."
"We're happy that he has decided to race again, and are absolutely thrilled to be working with him."