Joe Dombrowski lined up for the Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec and Montreal at the weekend but the Canadian races were almost certainly his last as a Team Sky rider. He is still recovering from recent surgery to resolve the Iliac artery problem that has so far affected the last 18 months of his career.
Cyclingnews understands that the 23-year-old American will be part of the new Cannondale team created by the merger with Jonathan Vaughters' Garmin-Sharp team. Dombrowski will further bolster the US-team's stage race capabilities and also hope to get his career back on track after being hindered by his Iliac artery problems. He will join the team along with several riders from the current Cannonale squad, including Italy's Davide Formolo, Moreno Moser and Davide Villela.
"I've got a verbal agreement with a team but I can't say where I'm going to be racing in 2015 yet, hopefully in the next few weeks," he told Cyclingnews.
Dombrowski first began to suffer a lack of power in his left leg in 2013 but was only finally diagnosed after this year's Tour de Suisse.
"It started in mid-June last year, in my first year with Team Sky. The symptoms are vague, it's just a loss of power in one leg and numbness on that side, it's hard to understand exactly what it is, so it took a year or maybe more to figure out what was going on," he explained to Cyclingnews.
"In the initial test to get the diagnosis, they looked at my blood pressure after effort and I had about 40% drop in my left side. That made it clear there was something up and so did more invasive studies. I had surgery near home on my artery seven weeks ago. They cut the artery long ways and then stitch a patch on the damaged section. In my case, the artery had become stuck to the psoas muscle and was kinking it when in the cycling position. Now the pressure is the exact same, and from an ultrasound, it looks like the artery is hearing well."
Dombrowski quickly abandoned the Quebec and Montreal races but went on steady training rides. He still has to keep his heart rate and power under control as the artery completely heals.
"It requires six weeks completely off the bike and about nine weeks of keeping my power and heart rate down. I'm about slowly and steadily coming back at it, but I think I'll be back up to speed in the next two months and be really motivated for a really good winter. I'm ready to put it all behind me and move forward."