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Duggan not feeling the heat in Malaysia

By Greg Johnson in Melaka, Malaysia

American climber Timothy Duggan (Garmin-Slipstream) says the heat at the Tour de Langkawi isn't impacting him as much, thanks to a block of racing and training in Australia. Duggan spent a week at teammate Chris Sutton's house in Sydney, New South Wales, after contesting the Tour Down Under ProTour race last month.

"It was good, I mean this year is obviously hot, but I've felt really comfortable," said Duggan. "Last time I did this race, I came straight from a training camp in the mountains in California, and before that Colorado. I had to get over about 50 degrees [Fahrenheit of change in temperature], so coming straight here is a little more of a shock. But now it feels normal and I'm kind of more in that mode."

While Duggan finished in the top 20 during his last visit to Malaysia, the rider is cautious of making any predictions for this year's race. He is making a comeback to the sport after a terrible crash at last year's Tour of Georgia.

"I'm still testing my form having come back from my injury," said Duggan. "It's been a month since I did a 20-kilometer climb back at home in Colorado, so we'll see how my body reacts to the racing from the last couple of weeks.

"We'll see how it goes, but we've got a number of good climbers on this team, so I think between us we'll have a good race up the hill," he added. Genting is... that's the hardest climb I've ever raced up. I was completely floored at the top [in 2007]."

Duggan seemed pleased with the progress he's made since returning to racing at last month's Tour Down Under in Adelaide, South Australia. "I'm good – about as expected," he said. "Not surprisingly, amazingly peaking form or anything, but just a steady upward trajectory, and I'm happy. It's going well."

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