Duggan sacrifices time for Flagstaff win

U.S. champ hopes to ride through his hometown on the front of the USA Pro Challenge Saturday

BOULDER, Colorado (VN) — Timmy Duggan wants a stage win badly in his hometown of Boulder, Colorado, today. He wants it badly enough to tank his overall time by sitting up late in Friday’s stage. The Nederland resident is coming out for a gunfight on Saturday.

“It’s going to be a dream come true,” Duggan told VeloNews of wearing the U.S. national champion’s jersey into Boulder. “But I’m not going to be pack fill. I’m going to come out guns a blazing.”

Duggan, who came to Colorado as an outside contender in the overall, holstered his weapon in Colorado Springs. It was a strategic move he hopes will pay off with a stage win for his Liquigas-Cannondale team at the Flagstaff Amphitheatre on Saturday afternoon.

“I was sitting there at 20th on GC,” he said. “That doesn’t really do anything for me, so I opened it up a little bit more and opened my options up.”

For Duggan, those options include attacking on the Lee Hill climb above Left Hand Canyon or on the 10km rise to the finish above downtown Boulder. He sits 2:38 back on GC and should see a comfortable leash from the overall contenders — but not from the many men chasing a stage win on one of the Colorado Front Range’s most storied climbs.

Like many riders exhausted from a week of racing that has been harder than anyone expected, Duggan expects the action to start early on Saturday on the wind-battered Highway 93 approach to Boulder.

“Tomorrow’s got everything. It could be really hot and definitely some possible winds coming out of Golden into Boulder. That’s always windy there,” said Duggan. “Lee Hill and Flagstaff are the steepest climbs we’ve done all week, so I think anything could happen.

“Up high in the altitude, with a lot of tired legs up there, that could be a place for a move. Lee Hill is another launching pad not so far from the finish. We’ll see, but I think it will be another really aggressive race tomorrow.”

Another really aggressive race will fit in well with this second USA Pro Challenge. Duggan hopes he brings a big enough gun to fire off the winning shot in front of his hometown crowd on Saturday.