The day before the start of the Giro d’Italia in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, Cyclingnews asked Twitter followers to submit questions for Joe Dombrowski (Cannonadale), with an #AskJoe, for which he gave his replies.
Dombrowski heads into the Italian Grand Tour as a rider to watch for stage wins in the mountains. He and his team have stated that Rigoberto Uran is the go-to overall contender for Cannondale at this Giro d’Italia, but Dombrowski could wind up in a strong overall place himself.
Question: Hi Joe, who's your best pal in the peloton? - Matty McKechnie (@mattymckechnie)
Joe Dombrowski: That's a tough one because there are a lot of guys to include. I'm actually rooming here with Nate Brown and we both requested to share with each other. I live with Larry Warbasse and train with guys like Tejay van Garderen. We've got a good little American crew down there so I tend to hang out with those guys and hang out with them in races too.
Q: Star Trek or Star Wars? - Juha Matula (@jukkamatala)
JD: I'm not really a sci-fi guy but I'm going to go with Star Wars. Star Trek just seems a bit... nerdy.
Q: Which stage of the #Giro are you most looking forward, Joe? – Riccardo Filippetti (@RickyCadel95)
JD: Stage 20. I know the climbs into France and then we go into Italy. I happen to know that stage because it's not so far from where I'm based in Nice. A number of us will train at altitude at Imola 2000 which is on the French side, because it's super roads for riding and it's only 90 minutes from Nice. I know the roads around there super well. Additionally, my family and some friends will be in Nice at that time and they'll be there to watch stages 19 and 20. I'm really looking forward to that.
Q: What stays w/ you to this day from your very 1st Euro experiences w/ @EuroCrossCamp? Buona fortuna - GProctor (@CrossSportif)
JD: I guess the Euro Cross camp was back when I was racing in my last year as a junior. I suppose the biggest thing, and to this day, I think it comes down to learning to adapt. That's stayed with me. At the end of the day it's still a bike race and bunch of guys trying to cross the line first but at the highest level, whether it's on the road, MTB or 'cross, almost all of it happens in Europe.
For an American rider some adaptation needs to occur in order to perform at a high level. 'Cross camp was my first experience with that and has been valuable to this day. Even when I came to the World Tour with Team Sky a couple of years ago, the first few years were pretty hard. Obviously it's a big step up in terms of talent and depth but also you need to sort yourself out in terms of your life off the bike. You need to make it work over in Europe.
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Q: When does @JoeDombro's beer come out? When will he ship it to me? – I am not Ted King (@iamnotTedKing)
JD: I was back in the States in March and we had a brew day. The name of the beer is Dombrewski. I've been working with a team back home and the brew day was on March 1. Just today the brew went into wooden rum barrels from Jamaica. It will age until some point in the summer... I'm thinking July. It's not a huge batch, maybe 900-950, 750ml bottles. The distribution will be a little limited but there's been interest and maybe it will take off and we'll do another batch.
Q: Are there any races this season for which the team will be riding for you or that you'll have an opportunity at? – Alex A. Kellum (@alexkellum)
JD: To be honest I don't really know my race schedule after the Giro. Normally if you come out of the Giro and you're not sick or tired then you would do something like Suisse or Dauphine. In an ideal scenario I'd like to have a good Giro and use some of that post-Giro form in one of those races. We'll have Rolland and Talansky getting ready for the Tour but I may have some opportunities in June. I might then have a break in July. There was some talk of doing Utah and Vuelta. I won Utah last year so it might be the plan to go back and try and defend. I'm not 100 per cent on my schedule yet. It's all about the Giro for now.
Q: Hi Joe! Will you ride this Giro fighting the GC or you'll give your 100% for Urán? Maybe stage win? - Gonzalo Vicente (@TzaloVS)
JD: Rigo is our leader here. The number one goal for the team is for us to win the Giro with him. We're dedicated totally to that. Coming into the first week, for me, I don't know if it makes sense to sit up for no reason on a flat stage. I don't need to go out there and take risks but I'll first focus on Rigo and then aim to finish in the bunch rather than sit up. As the race progresses we'll see how it plays out. I might see where I am after a couple of mountain stages and if I'm good I'll be one of the last guys for Rigo. Supporting him is the big thing I'm here here but there will be opportunities to have a great ride.
Q: What is your favourite thing to do? Cycling excluded. – Joey (@joeycycle)
JD: Mostly just catching up with friends and family back in the US. Additionally, I like to be outside, so it might be mountain biking, skiing or hiking.