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Imagine that you’ve just realised your dream and signed with the world’s number one team, performed well on your debut and are looking forward to the next part of your season once your training camp in sunny Greece ends. Instead you have to get home to the US as quickly as possible to avoid being ‘locked down’ in Europe. That’s the situation Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 2020 signing, US Elite Time Trial Champion, Ian Garrison found himself in just a few days ago.
It was way back in September 2011 on the eve of the Copenhagen World Championships when we first interviewed Joe Dombrowski, no one seemed to have noticed that he’d won a stage and finished second overall to a certain Fabio Aru in the Giro della Valle d’Aosta – one of the biggest u23 races in the world.
“Goin’ back to my roots,” says the Odyssey song – and so it is with Mr. Daniel Holloway, former ‘Crit King’ of the USA. But he’s now back on the boards in a big way with a World Cup omnium win in Chile and a memorable win in the 300 lap, 75 kilometre handicap Madison in the Copenhagen Six Day. It was 15 years ago, in 2003 when the man originally from Morgan Hill, California won the novices 500 metres at the US track national championships.
Canada’s Alex Stieda became the first North American to pull on the most famous and coveted jersey in professional cycling. Le Tour 1986, Stage One and Stieda heads off up the road solo, the peloton lets him go – a Canadian ? Paah! But there’s method in his madness as he scoops up intermediate points and time bonuses along the way; and when the winning breakaway train of five catch him he has enough strength and presence of mind to purchase a ticket. The break just holds of the screaming pack; Stieda grabs fifth behind Belgium’s Pol Verschuere – but those time bonuses have propelled the Canadian pursuiter into cycling history – he’s maillot jaune.
Doug Shapiro wasn’t the first American to ride the Tour; that was Jonathan Boyer; or the second, that was Greg Lemond. But he was the third to do so; and not just in any old role – as a domestique for Tour, Vuelta and Worlds winner, Joop Zoetemelk as part of the mighty Kwantum Hallen team. Here at VeloVeritas we thought that he must have a good tale to tell...
At the end of 2012 young American Joe Dombrowski had the world at his feet; he’d won the Baby Giro - ahead of a certain Fabio Aru - and placed fourth and tenth respectively in the Tours of Utah and Colorado – and there was a nice crisp Sky contract to be signed. But his two seasons with Sky didn’t pan out as most had expected – with the reason finally tracked down to an iliac artery problem which he’s now had surgery on.
The 2014 Giro was a brilliant race, so good in fact that a lot of good racing came to be ignored. Take ex-Raleigh man, and six day rider Daniel Holloway’s (Athlete Octane & USA) setting fire to the Speed Week criteriums series in the USA. ‘Hollywood’ first caught the eye as US Novice 500 Metre Time Trial Champion on the track in 2003; by 2005 he’d won a stage in the Canadian Tour de l’Abitibi – ‘the junior Tour de France.’
Along with Californian Mike Neel the man who opened the door for US riders performing in Europe was a certain George Mount, a prolific winner in the US. He turned pro for San Giacomo in 1980 after the US announced their boycott of the Moscow Olympics and rode as a cash man for three seasons. Suddenly it wasn't a dream for US riders - Neel and Mount were actually doing it. We caught up with Mr. Mount recently – he’s not bland!
It was the end of 2012 when we last spoke to 23 year-old American Ian Boswell on the eve of his first get together with Team Sky. We caught up with him again in January of this year to see how his professional debut year with double Tour winning squad SKY had gone.
It was 2011 when we first spoke to American Joe Dombrowski; we interviewed him at his Copenhagen hotel in the run up to the U23 Worlds. That year he’d finished second in the Baby Giro, an excellent performance, but he came back in 2012 and went one better, beating Fabio Aru – now one of Vincenzo Nibali’s lieutenants – to take victory. Sky know a good thing when they see one and snapped the skinny man from Virginia up – here’s what Joe had to say to VeloVeritas about his first season in the World Tour.
Season 2013 wasn't great for Timmy - 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...
The experienced American rider Colby Pearce was one of the guys looked after by Kris, Martin and Ed at some of this winters' Six Days, including the recent event at the Ballerup Stadium in Copenhagen. Having raced at elite level on the track at the Olympics, at World Cups and in the World Championships, as well as being a National Champion 14 times and holder of the US Hour Record (50.191), together with a spell working as the US Track Coach, Colby had seen most of what track cycling had to offer. One element was missing though: Six Day Racing...