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Ivan Dominguez heads to Europe

By Steve Frothingham

Dominguez winning the 2007 Tour of Missouri's first stage.

Dominguez winning the 2007 Tour of Missouri’s first stage.

Photo: Courtesy

Cuban sprinter Ivan Dominguez has won just about every major one-day race in the U.S. since he defected from the Cuban national team at the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York City. Now the “Cuban Missile” is headed to the Fuji-Servetto ProTour team for the 2009 season, and he’ll get his first chance to race in Europe at age 32.

And, in an interview with VeloNews Wednesday, Dominguez said he didn’t want to hear from any doubters about his chances at success.

“For those people, I say, just keep it to yourselves and let me try,” he said.

Ivan Dominguez’s career highlights
1st, stage 1, 2008 Tour of Georgia
1st overall, 2006 USA Crits Series
1st, 2005, CSC Invitational
1st, 2004 Bank of America Invitational
1st, 2002 New York City Cycling Championship
1st, individual pursuit, 1997 Pan-American Games
1st, sprint competition, 2007 Tour of Missouri (2 stage wins)

1st, Tour de Georgia, stage 1
3rd, Redlands Bicycle Classic, stage 2

1st, sprint Competition, Tour of Missouri (2 stage wins)
1st, USA Crits World Criterium Championship
1st, Stage 7, Amgen Tour of California
1st, Wells Fargo Twilight Criterium

1st, overall, USA Crits Series ?
2nd, Commerce Bank Philadelphia International Championship
2nd, Sunny King Criterium
2nd, Historic Roswell Criterium
2nd, McLane Pacific Foothills Road Race
2nd, Central Valley Classic Criterium
3rd overall, Tri-Peaks Challenge

1st, CSC Invitational
2nd, Athens Twilight Criterium?
3rd, Historic Roswell Criterium
3rd, Wachovia Invitational

1st, Bank of America Invitational
2nd, Points Competition, Dodge Tour de Georgia?

1st, New York City Cycling Championship

Dominguez, who had been with the Toyota-United team for three season, was linked to the Rock Racing team last month; he was on the Rock Racing Continental team roster that Rock Racing submitted to USA Cycling.

However, Dominguez said he had no contract with the U.S. team. “We were just talking, I never signed anything with those guys,” he said. Dominguez said there may, however, be some issues to be cleared up between his management and Rock Racing’s lawyers.

Rock Racing has not clarified whether the team ever had a contract with Dominguez, but a team spokesman confirmed that Dominguez is “no longer with Rock Racing.”

Dominguez is looking forward. He is talking to people about finding a place to live in Spain and he expects his first race for the new team will be the Tour Down Under in Australia in January. Then, if Fuji-Servetto is invited, he’ll do the Tour of California in February. From there, the sky’s the limit.

“I would like to do the Giro and the Vuelta a Espana. The Tour de France right now is out of my … well, not out of reach, who knows? But they will probably send me to the Giro and the Vuelta, those are races I like.”

Dominguez said he expected to be a designated sprinter with several leadout men working for him in some events. “Those guys know I’m new to racing there, I’m sure they will be very careful about those things. I need to learn a lot from those guys.”

Dominguez said he began talking to the team seriously only a few weeks ago. His connection with the team came about because of people he knows at the Fuji bike company, a Toyota-United sponsor.

Dominguez is already ramping up his training to make the transition from the domestic scene to Europe.

“I have to now do more long days on the bike, because the races are a lot longer there … The style of racing is a lot faster and a lot longer and you race a lot more,” he said.
Fuji-Servetto’s current roster, according to the release:
Alberto Benítez, Iker Camaño, David Cañada, Eros Capecchi, Ermanno Capelli, Juanjo Cobo, David de la Fuente, Jesús Del Nero, Iván Domínguez, Arkaitz Durán, Alberto Fernández de la Puebla, Ángel Litu Gómez, Héctor González, Beñat Intxausti, Josep Jufré, Javier Megías, Daniele Nardello, Ricardo Serrano, Andrea Tonti, Davide Vigano and William Walker.

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