Joe Dombrowski is hoping to pick up where he left off when racing resumes this fall.
The 28-year-old American entered his first season with UAE-Team Emirates this year, and after appearances at Tour of Valenciana and Volta ao Algarve, he’s optimistic for getting back to racing with his new team.
Dombrowski’s last race was the Volta ao Algarve in February, and the five days in Portugal served to reassure him that his transfer from EF Pro Cycling in the winter was the move he needed.
“I felt quite good in Portugal, and was riding strongly,” Dombrowski said in a post on his team’s website. “In my own head this race confirmed my reasoning to join UAE-Team Emirates, I thought ‘yeah, I’m where I need to be now’ which was great. I think it would’ve been a good spring for me had the season not been stopped.”
Dombrowski had been focussing on a fifth start at the Giro d’Italia next month before coronavirus put a stop on the racing calendar. Now, he’s waiting on the UCI’s revised calendar, due next week, before setting any revised targets.
Although Dombrowski has no specific races in his head, he is hoping to follow up on his strong showing to the start of the season, and with it, a chance to ride for himself.
“When we get back to racing, I hope with hard work, focus, and a bit of luck I can show the team that I deserve some freedom too,” he said.
For the time being, Dombrowski is making the most of relative freedom at his home in North America, having abandoned his European base in Nice, which like the rest of France, has been under strict lockdown for the past six weeks.
“We returned to the U.S. a few weeks ago,” Dombrowski said. “In Nice, we live downtown in the port so it’s very difficult to go outside and cycle; in the States we live in a more rural area, and I felt at this time, it would be a better move for us.”
“We are lucky for the time being that in the U.S. outdoor activity with strict social distancing measures is still permitted, which has been a huge relief as I am able to carry on cycling,” he said. “It’s important to stay fit during this layoff and it’s given me a chance to focus on things that are easier to neglect during the race season, like strength and mobility work.”
Dombrowski is remaining hopeful that the hard work in training will get to show itself on the road at some point this fall. The shape of the cycling season is due to be set out by the UCI on May 5, and then he will be able to set out his year of racing.
“I am optimistic that we will still be racing later this year, and when we have a clearer picture of what that might look like, everyone can start thinking more seriously about their objectives,” he said. “In the meantime, it’s about keeping fit, staying positive, and looking at the scenario pragmatically – it’s not often pro cyclists get to spend so much time with their families during this time of the year, so for that, I am grateful.”