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"The initial goal was California and Jonathan Vaughters really believed I could win California. I was just off the podium, but it wasn’t what I was looking for. And then the other American race was Utah, which I ended up winning....

Photo: Cannondale-Garming Pro Cycling




12.12.2015 @ 12:00 Posted by Joseph Doherty

After spending a few injury-plagued seasons at Sky, Joe Dombrowski’s move to Cannndale-Garmin this year has given the 24 year old a new lease of life, seeing him win his first pro race at the Tour of Utah before taking out the GC, then riding and finishing his debut Grand Tour at the Vuelta.


“I guess (this year was) a little bit of a comeback year. I did a full season in 2013. Then in 2014 I ended up stopping basically after Tour de Suisse and that was the end of my season, and I didn’t race really much prior to Tour de Suisse. So it was really limited on race days, but this is really the first season where everything has gone pretty smooth throughout the year. So in a way it was really like my first WorldTour season without any hiccups. Third time is the charm I guess,” Dombrowski told VeloNews.


Dombrowski said he wasn’t under much pressure this season as the team just wanted to see him healthy and begin to realise some of his potential.


“Basically [the team said], “we want you to be healthy and consistent. You had two kind of bad years, and you just need to get back to being healthy and riding consistently again. Secondly, we think you can win an American race.” The initial goal was California and JV [Cannondale director Jonathan Vaughters] really believed I could win California, especially the Mount Baldy stage. I wasn’t too far off. I was just off the podium, but it wasn’t quite what I was looking for. And then the other American race I did was Utah, which I ended up winning.”


The focus on riding at home was because the team thought Dombrowski lacked the skills to ride in a European bunch, meaning he would lose time by being out of position, which is hard to do in the USA due to the large roads.


“The thinking behind that was that I was lacking the pack skills a bit and the competitive skills to compete in the some of the European races, but if you have the engine to do it you can win the American races without that skillset totally developed. So the idea was to basically focus on these American races and try to get some results in those, and do some of these European races and go support your teammates and try to learn how to move around the bunch more. So year two, next year, we are building on some of what we did this year. OK, so you have the command to win a race here in the states, but can we apply it in Europe if the engine and if the ability is there? It’s harder to execute in the European races because you are on small roads and everyone is really good about being in the right position and it is just different. So the next step is building on that and ratcheting up the level of the races I want to excel in.”




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