Former US Elite Champion Timmy Duggan has come full circle from that day back in the 2008 Tour of Georgia when he hit the tarmac at 100 km/h and was left with life-threatening injuries – it looked like his career was over…
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.
The 2012 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 formidable 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 for the London Olympics where he was one of the men of the race, part of the day-long break which defined the race.
Season 2013 was at the other end of the scale; his contract with the Canadian Spidertech team came to naught when the team collapsed.
And his year ended almost before it started with a bad crash in the Tour Down Under and a season spent trying to find his real form with Saxo-Tinkoff.
Despite a verbal agreement with Cannondale for 2014 the man from Colorado decided to call ‘time’ on his career.
Duggan took time chat to VeloVeritas as the races he used to ride started without him…
Did you have a ride for 2014 when you made your decision to quit?
“I had a verbal agreement with Cannondale at the time.”
How much did the fact that five teams folded at the end of 2013 influence your decision?
“That situation definitely didn’t produce many appealing options for any riders.
“For many, if your contract with your team was up at the end of 2013, it was going to be difficult to find a spot and if you did, it would likely be with a significant pay cut.
“Like everyone else in that situation, I didn’t have a ton of good options.”
I’ve heard there was a very urgent, nervous vibe in the peloton at the end of this season…
“I suppose. I was in my own world, I guess.”
Tell us about the ski coaching you’ll be doing.
“I was an alpine ski racer until I was 18 and my ski racing career truly gave me the tools I needed to be a successful cyclist.
“The Lake Eldora Racing Team is the premier skiing/cycling program in Boulder county; with the Eldora Mountain Ski Club and the SMBA mountain bike program under the same umbrella.
“There are 400 young athletes in both programs. I want to help the club continue to grow and provide the best opportunities.
“I consider myself a skier as much as a cyclist.
“I think once you are an elite athlete in one area, you can transfer to a different sport and be successful pretty quickly, as I was able to do. Anyways, EMSC is my Alma mater. I was coaching for the race team for a couple years in the winters as I was climbing the ranks of cycling.
“It was always something I wanted to get back into after my cycling career ended, so it’s refreshing to come back around full circle.”
Maybe some bike coaching work, too?
“Lake Eldora Race Team also has a successful MTB program and is involved in single track Mountain Bike Adventures.
“I plan to play a mentor-ship role in that program as well.”
Will you spend more time working on your Just Go Harder Foundation – and how is that going?
“We’re currently morphing the JGHF into primarily a legacy scholarship for LERT, but will be reaching out into the community as well for organisations like the Colorado High School Mountain Bike League and the Boulder Junior Cycling Team.”
And you’ll be in real estate – ex-Garmin pro Steve Cozza does that now…
“Yeah Cozza and I just had a great conversation last week.
“Cozza’s funny – when I talked to him he was on the way out to hunt wild boars with a bow and arrow! He hasn’t changed, ha ha.
“Anyways, real estate is really appealing to me because you are so involved with the community.
“Throughout my career, sure, my name has been very much attached to Boulder/Nederland, Colorado but I actually never get to spend much time being a part of that community, and now I can.
“I’m looking forward to helping people and sharing what an awesome place I grew up in and continue to live in.”