Ivan Dominguez decided that ProTour racing was not for him after giving it a six month shot with the Spanish-based Fuji-Servetto team. Manager Mauro Gianetti released the domestic sprinter on amicable terms, freeing him to compete for the American- Continental team Rock Racing.
"I kind of liked it over there but I was always 50-50 on whether it would be the right place for me," Dominguez said. "They said I should try it out and I did, to see what would happen. After the first part of the year I told Gianetti it was not for me. He said, ‘don't worry about it because we don't want to keep you here if you don't want to stay,' and then he let me go."
Dominguez was released in June within the International Cycling Union's (UCI) official window of opportunity to make roster changes - June 1 to June 25. "They released me with in the cut off date," said Dominguez. "Michael has been chasing me for three years now. He always told me I could come back and that was good to know. I had a few other options but Rock was always my first choice. I took a week to think about it and went with them. I know all the spanish guys. I like racing with them and it will be a lot of fun."
Dominguez sited personal reasons and a desire to be close to his family as the reason for returning. However, the Los Angeles resident also mentioned that life on a ProTour team meant time away from home and a different style of racing to contend with. "The races were a lot longer, harder and I had to spend a lot of time on the road," he said. "I was there for two months then home for two weeks and then back over again for three months. It was too far from family and friends. I missed the racing here. I just wasn't interested in living over there either."
The Rock Racing outfit has had a few bumps to smooth out since Dominguez's early negotiations with team owner Michael Ball. Dominguez admits that he was aware of the upset over riders being demoted from the Continental team to its amateur counterpart along with the team's dismissal of Michael Creed, Chris Baldwin and Cesar Grajales. "I know what went on and I made sure that I was put on the Continental team," said Dominguez.
"We had to work that our straight away," he continued. "I told Michael that I wasn't interested in being on the amateur team. Maybe in the future, yes, I would love to help out the younger guys. But right now, I want to keep winning races and that meant I needed to be professional."
Dominguez will begin racing under the Rock Racing banner at the up coming Manhattan Grand Prix Criterium. He may also compete in the Cascade Classic and the Tour of Utah along with select Latin-American stage races. "I just want to race so I'm up for anything and I need to start now," he said. "I will sit down with Michael and arrange the program for the rest of the season. The team may also want me to go back over to Europe under the condition that I am never gone more than two weeks."
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