Duggan Wins USPRO Cycling Race
BY BRUCE WARREN
Timmy Duggan, who grew up in Heatherwood and graduated from Fairview High School, won the USPRO Cycling National Championship in Greenville, S.C., May 31. By winning, Duggan attracted the attention of the U.S. Olympic selection committee, and on June 15 Duggan was chosen as one of five riders to represent the U.S. at the Olympics in London.
A serious cycling accident a few years ago left Duggan with life-threatening injuries, and almost ended his career. “In 2008 I suffered a traumatic brain injury during a 60 mph crash at the Tour of Georgia,” he said. “Thankfully I survived, but then there was the question of if I would be the same person again, let alone get back on the bike and race at a high level again. I took the rest of the year off from racing and a long slow recovery ensued.
“I didn’t feel pretty normal again for almost a year. Even now there are a few small things that are different but I am thankful to have my life and career back and to be able to compete and win at the highest level now.”
The USPRO victory caps a remarkable comeback. “A huge career goal of mine was met when I crossed the line ahead of everyone else to take the stars and stripes jersey,” Duggan said on his website. “It always feels great to win, but USPRO was particularly sweet for me and my sole Liquigas-Cannondale teammate, Ted King.”
Duggan and King battled against teams fielding up to 11 riders, and credited a solid game plan and flawless execution for the victory. Duggan felt that having only two riders allowed them the flexibility of riding in the draft of other racers, and it worked for the second year in a row as King finished third last year. Duggan won the race by an amazing 26 seconds this year.
The heat in Greenville was a challenge, and the two riders did not have the luxury of having a seasoned support crew as one of their sponsors. One of their sponsors, Cannondale, came to the rescue and allowed the two riders to pick their own support team, which became known as “The Greenville Militia.” Gatorade came through with sufficient water bottles to keep the duo well-supplied with liquids.
Duggan turned pro with Garmin in 2005. The 29-year-old came from a background in alpine ski racing, and didn’t begin bicycle racing until late in high school at the suggestion of a ski coach who was a former pro bike racer.
A Colorado native, Duggan now makes his home in Nederland. “I lived in Heatherwood through high school,” he said. “I rode a bike a fair amount around the neighborhood, to school, the dirt jumps; then when I was older, a little bit of mountain biking with my family. Bike riding was something I did as a kid, but I never thought about racing.”
Duggan just finished riding in the Tour de Suisse in Switzerland and plans to ride in the Tour of Poland before returning to the states to ride in Utah and Colorado later this summer.
Duggan and his friend Ian MacGregor have established a charitable organization, Just Go Harder Foundation, which provides scholarships for cycling and skiing to children who could not otherwise afford it. For more information, check out the website, www.justgoharder.com.