Tuesday, July 27, 2021
HomeInterviewsTimmy Duggan - In the Break at the Olympics!

Timmy Duggan – In the Break at the Olympics!


Tim DugganWhat was it like being in that break in the Olympic road race?

Who better to ask than one of the men who animated the race and did sterling work in the service of his team – United States elite road race champion, Timothy Duggan?

The Liquigas, 29 year-old pro has come a long way back from that day in the 2008 Tour of Georgia when he hit the tarmac at 100 km/h and was left with life-threatening injuries.

A year later it looked as if his rehabilitation was complete with a fine second place on a Dauphiné mountain stage.

However, 2010 was blighted by health and injury issues.

Season 2011 promised to be better, boosted by the news that he’d signed for Italian ‘super squadra’ Liquigas.

After six years with Jonathan Vaughters at TIAA-Cref, Slipstream and Garmin-Transitions, Duggan decided that it was time for change.

Prior to his days with JV he was a regular on the podium at the US U23 titles – second in the time trial in 2003 and 2004 and third in 2004 in the road race – but hadn’t taken a national title.

His first season with Liquigas saw him ride the Worlds in Copenhagen and take a top 10 on GC in the Tour of Utah.

Tim Duggan
Timmy Duggan celebrates the hard fought win in the US PRO champs. Photo©Casey Gibson.

This season kicked off in the Tour de San Luis in Argentina followed by a spell in Europe before playing a very impressive team role in Peter Sagan’s amazing Tour of California performance.

Duggan towed the bunch along for considerable lengths of time, and it was clear that he was coming into some very good shape.

In the aftermath of that race, sixth in the US elite time trial champs behind David Zabriskie boded well for the road race.

Duggan triumphed against the mighty Garmin squad with even more gilt being added to his season when he was confirmed as part of the US team.

VeloVeritas caught up with Tim in his London hotel, a day or two after the road race – ‘soaking in the Olympic experience,’ as he put it.

Timmy’s official USA Cycling Olympic Games Team portrait.

Olympic selection must be very satisfying – but did it come as a surprise?

“It’s something I’ve been working towards this year; I planned to be going well during the selection period.

“There are other factors involved which I don’t have control over, but I did the best I could during the selection period to catch the selectors’ eye.”

Tell us about the US race plan.

“We planned to be really aggressive – not just sit there and submit to the GB programme for the race.

“It was my job to get in the early break, one of my strengths as a rider is that I can take on that sort of job – go with the early break and work hard.

“Our strategy worked out really well; we didn’t win a medal but we came close with Taylor Phinney in fourth place and we had Tejay van Garderen in the lead group, too.”

You were working like a Trojan in that break.

“In the beginning I just wanted to match the work rate of the other riders in the break.

“It was a solid break with a good representation of strong nations in there.

“When Tejay and Taylor came across, my role changed to support for them.

“Coming into the last lap of the circuit, Tejay rode up alongside me and said; ‘we really have to drive this, to stay clear.’

“There were guys looking around, waiting to see if they had team mates coming up and the peloton was only a minute behind.

“Then, the last time over Box Hill, Taylor was in the hurt locker and I had to get him back on.

“I got him back, but with driving hard for that last lap and that effort, I slid back to the peloton.”

Timmy with his fan club (aka his family!) at the US PRO champs. Photo©Casey Gibson.

We’ve heard some comment that the crowd was a bit out of control?


“What a spectacle, unbelievable, I couldn’t hear myself think for six hours.

“With 15 K to go I hit a spectator, he was leaning way out over the barriers to take a picture and I rode into him.

“He dropped his camera, that’s for sure!

“The thing is, when you have that many people beside the road – I heard maybe a million? – it’s always going to be an issue.

“But it’s a good problem to have.

“What was strange though; was that once you’d crossed the line you were in this quiet, sterile, secure Olympic area – it was strange after six hours of crazy crowds.

“It was such a contrast – weird.”

What did you think of the parcours?

“I thought they were good – they allowed a situation where anything could happen.

“It was a selective course, as the race went on, there were elite groups coming up.

“It could have ended with a break going away or come together for a mass sprint.”

We heard that time checks were a problem?

“The motorcycle was giving us plenty of information – so at least we thought we knew what was happening!”

Timmy in the main break of the day in London. Photo©Casey Gibson/VeloNews.

What’s your opinion on the GB game plan?

“They had a plan; ‘all for Cavendish,’ they gambled and committed 100% on that – you have to respect that, but sometimes your plan doesn’t work.”


“Oh boy, yeah!

“Whatever else you may say about him, you have to admire that aggressive, exciting way he races.”

Cav slated the Aussie’s tactics.

“They certainly weren’t in the best position with just Stuey in the break.

“It may have been better for them to ride for a sprint – they gambled and ended with Stuey sixth.”

Who’s your tip for the time trial?

“I think Taylor Phinney has a good chance of a medal (he finished fourth behind Wiggins, Martin and Froome).

“I know how he’s been training and I can guarantee that no one has trained for the race in a more specific fashion than he has.

“He hasn’t been training for the road race and took fourth, so I think it bodes well for the time trial.”

What’s next for you, Timmy?

“I’m having a day or two in London with my wife then we fly back to the States to prepare for the Tours of Utah and Colorado.

“Colorado is very important to me – my home race.

“Then it’s the UCi races in Canada and then the Tours in China – and the Worlds are in there too, hopefully.”

How’s 2013 looking for you?

“There are a few conversations going on – it’s looking good!”

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach, and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

The Colin Sturgess Story – Part Two

We left Colin Sturgess in Part One telling us about his time as a teenager racing in the Commonwealth Games and in the Olympics, and turning pro for the Belgian team ADR.

Tony Gibb Eurosport Commentator – London Olympics Day Three

Well no rubbish today about my trip to the track or my run in with a black cab driver, today is simply about the bike riding.

Ryder Hesjedal – On his Tour crash, the Olympics, the Worlds, and Beijing

Garmin’s Ryder Hesjedal came out of the Giro in shape of his life, with his morale sky high after his historic win. He rested well after Italy, resumed training and was in great shape for the Tour de France. He rode strongly in the prologue and managed to keep out of trouble – until stage six.

Toby Watson – Today is the Big Day

Today is the big day. The culmination of the road cycling programme for the London Olympics. I can’t believe we’re already here!

Shane Perkins – “Rio is the long-term goal”

‘Perkins’ is a famous name in Australian cycling; back when I was a boy, Daryl Perkins was a top performer on the tracks, winning medals at national and Commonwealth level. He passed those good genes down to son Shane, who recently took individual sprint bronze in London behind Messrs. Kenny and Bauge. Perkins has been a major force on the world track sprint, team sprint and keirin scene for a number of years, despite the fact that he’s still only 25 years-old.

Tony Gibb – From the Commentator’s Box; London Olympics Day Six

Well, the women's omnium is in full swing at the London Olympics Day Six. Laura Trott has won the flying lap, a great ride, I'm not entirely sure where she was for the points race, I think team GB put someone up in her place, maybe she was getting her hair done or something, all I know is she didn't show up!

At Random

Ethan Hayter – “I’d love to ride Paris-Roubaix this year”

This season saw Ethan Hayter sign with Ineos and the podium came early with second in the non-too-flat Memorial Pantani and that was despite a crash in the 1.Pro Milano-Torino his second race, the first being the Gran Trittico Lombardo. Then came ‘lockdown’ and his first race back was the European Championships in Plouay, won by Giacomo Nizzolo; Hayter finished a crash-blighted 98th but next up was the Pantani and the podium...

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 15; Oviedo – Lagos de Covadonga, 149 km. Przemyslaw Niemiec Impresses

Przemyslaw Niemiec wins today, but it’s just morbid curiosity which compels me to watch Chris Froome (Sky & Monaco/England/South Africa/Kenya) these days – he climbs like a stick insect with Saint Vitus Dance. It upsets me; but distressing or not, it gets him up them hills, albeit in his own mystifying style – off the back, off the front...

Charlie Hebdo Massacre

If you're a VeloVeritas regular you'll be aware that we take full advantage of our, "right to rant." Freedom of Speech is something we take for granted in a Western Democracy. But recent events in Paris remind us that it's a principle which people surrender their lives to uphold.

Reflections on the 2011 Track World Champs – Part III, Endurance Races

We conclude our review of the 2011 World Track Champs from Apeldoorn with a look at the endurance events; only one of which will be in the Olympic programme - the team pursuit. The individual pursuit, madison, scratch and points have all been axed from London.

Remembering Wiggins’ Tour de France

Don’t worry! You’ll get no lectures or swear words from me; just one old cycling lover’s random personal remembrances of another wonderful two weeks spent in La Belle France... is it really just three years since the memorable famous first British victory in the race for Bradley Wiggins? Can Chris Froome take the country's tally to three in a month's time?

Harry Tanfield – Enjoying Success in the Kermises

If you remember our Gordon Arms Time Trial report earlier in the season then you’ll remember the name Harry Tanfield, he eventually took third spot. Harry also won last year’s Dave Campbell Memorial Race in the Kingdom of Fife, another race which VeloVeritas was present at.