American squad Toyota-United has celebrated its victory Hanes Park Classic Criterium, the team's 12 National Racing Calendar win of the season, with Ivan Dominguez dubbing it as a present to outgoing team director Kirk Willett. The event was former professional Willett's last with the squad, after the 37 year-old announced last week he would part ways with the squad as he heads to medical school.
"I told him to take that as a present," Dominguez said. "I have been really happy to work with him this season. He's always very easy-going and he doesn't put pressure on you. He would just tell us what we needed to do."
Willett was pleased to finish off the weekend, and his time with the outfit, on a winning note. "It's always exciting to win and it's a little extra nice since it is my last race," Willett said. "I'm happy the guys came out with the win after the loss of Caleb [Manion] and the lows we had Saturday night."
Manion crashed out of the Presbyterian Hospital Invitational on Saturday night, breaking his collarbone and joining a list of injured riders at the squad. Manion is expected to sit out the rest of 2007 as a result of his injury. In addition to Manion's injury, the team is awaiting news on the return of both Ivan Stevic and Henk Vogels. Stevic is expected to find out from a doctor later this week whether he will be able to return to racing after more than a month rehabilitating sore knees.
When the Serbian rider returns to racing, which could be as soon as this weekend's Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove in Illinois Stevic will wear a blue and rainbow striped jersey instead of his normal Serbian National Champion jersey, after he won the 161 kilometre B World Road Race Championship in Cape Town, South Africa on July 1.
Australian Vogels is recovering from an impact with a pole during a race last month that broke the glenoid bone in his shoulder. Vogels is expected to undergo an X-ray on August 20 to determine whether his injury has fully healed.
"In two weeks time, they will tell me whether it is healed or not," Vogels said.