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Timmy Duggan Comes Full Circle to Golden with the USA Pro Cycling Challenge

July 20, 2011

[updated 5/28/2012]

Meet Timmy Duggan, member of the Italian Liquigas-Cannondale Pro Cycling Team. Twenty-eight years old, born and now living in Boulder, Colorado, Timmy is in his words, “full gas for the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.” He began racing professionally in 2005 with the Slipstream Sports program and fought to return to the sport after sustaining a traumatic brain injury in a crash in 2008. Timmy shares his objectives for the up-coming race, why Golden is a special place for him, and how his wife contributes to his limitless motivation.
(Note: My interview with Timmy continues after this introduction on This post contains additional comments not included on

Timmy Duggan

You recently tweeted about reconning Lookout Mountain. What are your thoughts about the final stage and how you see it unfolding?
With the mountain in the first part of the race it can unfold in a number different ways. It’s the last stage of the race and I always say that the last day of a stage race is either the easiest day or the hardest day. It kind of depends on the circuit that the race is going on, it depends on how tired all riders are from the previous week of racing, and how motivated they are for a sprint finish or a GC shakedown or whatever. It’s either everything’s settled and everyone just wants to cruise around and sprint at the end or it’s not settled and in which case it’s the last chance for some teams who haven’t won yet to get a stage win or the last chance to shake up the general classification, so a lot of teams are motivated to be aggressive, and if that happens it can be the hardest day of week.

Do you think that the fact that there is a lot of high altitude in this race gives an advantage to someone like you who lives at high altitude?
Certainly you definitely have a lot fewer bullets to fire at altitude, so when you go for it, when you attack, you gotta make sure it’s a good one because it’s really hard to recover both within the race that day and also the next day if you go too deep.

You frequently mention how much you miss your wife when you are away racing. What role does she play in your motivation?
She’s just nothing but supportive. We were together before I even started bike racing, so she’s kind of seen me climb up the whole ladder and go through the whole process and she knows how much time and effort and energy and love I put into it and what it means to me. She really knows when to put in the support and she knows when to back off and let me do my thing. She knows most of all how to put up with an athlete in the house.

Do you think we in the States should make it easier for men and women to get to the level of pro-cycling, or is it good that it’s more of a challenge?
Americans only really started racing at the highest level in Europe back in the 80s with the 7-11, Davis Phinney, Andy Hampsten era, so that’s 25 something years ago. Obviously back then it was a huge leap for an American to come over to Europe and be in a totally different place and culture and make a name for themselves and become a real professional. Those guys kind of paved the way and ever since then there’s been more and more of a cycling presence in America as well as more and more Americans going to Europe. So it’s still necessary I think to cross the pond, and race in Europe, and find a team there, and kick-start your career there, but there’s also a very, very strong American pro-racing scene. So you can certainly become a professional cyclist in America without ever even setting foot in Europe. But it’s a different league, the domestic professional teams. The style of racing is different; the length is different. But it’s still a professional bike race. It’s still really difficult to win a race. Certainly now in America there’s a lot more infrastructure — someone just starting out, if they’re 19 or 20 years-old, there’s a lot more high level racing opportunities just within the United States than there used to be.

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