2007 Redlands Classic - Interview with Ivan Dominguez
Interview with Ivan Dominguez following his elimination while leading sprint
by Lyne Lamoureux
Photo c. Lyne Lamoureux
Lyne: Tell me about the stage yesterday (Stage 1 on Friday March 23rd).
Ivan: Yesterday, we talked about having guys in the break and unfortunately I
was the one to start the break when I attacked in one of the harder sections and
I got three guys with me and I got caught and attacked again and three more guys
came with me and from there we were gone. So it was good because having me in
the break is a good chance for my guys to sit in the group and not do anything
saving their legs for the end, but in the end I paid the price. I wanted to stay
with the group but I was cramping, trying to make it. Coming in the last 2 or 3 kms, Harm was telling me the time I had to make it. I was a little bit worried
but then he told me you have 5 minutes to make it to the finish and I was about
500m away from the finish and I thought I'm good, just keep riding my speed as I
cannot go faster and so I crossed the finish. Before that Harm went to the
finish and he asked the time of the winner so he could calculate how much time I
had and they told him 4:08 and calculated that I had 24minutes to make it to the
finish and then he told me I had 5 minutes to make 500m to the finish and I
crossed the finish in less than 5 minutes and I thought it was everything was
Then I went to the podium for the points jersey. First they tell me you're
not on the list for the points jersey, and I'm like what do you mean? I'm the
one winning almost all the sprints and I know who had 2nd and 3rd, I know all
the people involved in the points sprints, I guess they went back did some
changes and put me as the points jersey winner.
Later in the evening, I got the bad news: Harm told me the time of the winner
was 5:05 and so I was out of the race. I don't know how they can make that kind
of mistake, this is a big race like it's always been for the last 20 years. It's
sad to see stuff like that. Harm went to talk to the officials to see if they'd
let me race, it's not as I came in 2 to 5 minutes out of the time limit. If I
had been sitting in the group and gotten dropped because I was not in good shape
or something okay then I don't say anything. But I was the one making the
breaks, I was the one putting on the show. I respect all the rules, the people
who make the rules, and I got to go by the rules. But in some races, like in the
Amgen Tour of California, they gave a chance to the riders when they gave the
same time to everybody. In 2004, in the Tour de Georgia, I got second in the
first 3 stages, and in then the 4th stage I got dropped because I was so tired
and I came 20 seconds out of the time limit and they let me race the next day.
Yesterday, I was 39 seconds out, but if they really want to make an exception
they can make it. But I guess some people were trying to get other riders back
in the race and maybe they decided that if you let me race, then they had to let
the other guys race. And it's sad, there are a lot of people that came to see
me, and now they are calling me. I got 20 calls yesterday & today to see if I am
going to begin the race or not.
Lyne: What are your plans for today, Saturday and tomorrow?
Ivan: Today, I stay here and watch the race. We have a team dinner tonight, we
have some people from Toyota, including VIPs, and then I might go home tonight
and keep on training for Georgia. It's bad because this race is good training
Lyne: This is your second year on Toyota United, has anything changed from
Ivan: We have a few new riders on the team, and myself I feel much much better
than last year. Last year, I feel like I got a lot of bad luck, getting sick and
getting into a car accident, that stuff kept me the whole year up & down.
Getting good and then sinking , getting good again and down and then then crash.
At the same time, the team was okay as JJ was there and then it was time for him
to move on.
Lyne: Sorry to ask the standard question here, but what are your goals for
Ivan: Being the main sprinter for the team, I am going to try to win the most
races that I can. I would like to win the NRC too. I going to win the most races
that I can for the team. In California, I wasn't doing so well in the first 6
stages, but the last day, I felt good, I had a good night's sleep the night
before. Everything came good in the end. I have Tour de Georgia where I'd like
to win a stage and be on the podium for a few stages, and then Philadelphia
week. From there, all the criteriums.
Lyne: Going back to your win at Tour of California, did it mean more to beat
against the riders from the ProTour?
Ivan: Yes it felt great. For me, that was the first race of the year which is
why I was suffering so much in the whole race. And those guys came with a lot of
racing, like I said to the guys they are not mickey mouse so it's good to beat
those guys, At the same time, I understand that everybody wants to win. It was
very nice for the guys, they worked all day to keep me out of the wind, it's
good for my riders, for Toyota United, and it's also good for the US. It makes
cycling more interesting. I look at the stage win as it was not only very good
for our team but it was good for all the US cyclists too, as they can see that
can do it also.
Ivan winning Amgen Tour of California Stage 7
Photo c. Lyne Lamoureux
Lyne: After California, you went to win at Merco, how are you going to keep
your form til Georgia?
Ivan: I did an interview last weekend, and she asked me how I felt
was winning a lot of races. And I told her, I'm not feeling 100 percent yet, I
feel like 70 to 75 percent, I'm not feeling quite good. I go in the group, but I
get to the sprint and I don't feel quite fast. I'm training good, I think I'm
going to be okay for the rest of the season. All I need is racing.
Lyne: Other races before Georgia?
Ivan: A few guys are going to Indio, I think 5-6 guys are going. The next day is
Ojai and it's a good race, I like that one as it's got a steep climb but after
that it's flat so you have to keep working, so it's a good race for training.
Also it's important for NRC standings.
Lyne: Who is the team going to work for in Georgia?
Well, the first stages is always for the sprinters, so I hope
they are going to work for me, if not
they'll be in trouble (laughs). Of course, they are going to be working for me.
They are happy to be around me. We have Stevic and Hank and they can win too,
but they are very happy to see me racing there, they like to work for me.
Everyone likes to win.
Lyne: What is your schedule after Georgia?
Ivan: After Tour de Georgia, maybe a 2 week break. But then also in May, we have
Joe Martin Stage race and Tri-peaks, and we are going to have a second training
camp in between so we stay in the area. Everybody is training for Philly week
Lyne: You are doing well this year, so how many more years? Are you still
Ivan: Yeah, I love it here, I like the way they race here. I'm not interested
too much in criteriums, but I race here so I have to do it. I like it here, and
I like all the riders. I like the stage races and now we have more stage races
which is good. Maybe at 35 or 36, I'll stop. If I'm still good at that age, I
might keep on going, but if I see that I'm slowing down and can't keep up with
the young guys then I'll stop. And I'm not going to be the guy doing masters,
when I'm finished, then I'm finished, this is very hard.
Lyne: Speaking of young guys, do you see any up & coming sprinters?
Ivan: There a lot of guys racing, they might be fast but they might not have the
team, they have to keep on fighting. I know that there a lot of fast guys but
you don't have the team it's hard to win a race, you have to be super good to
win. There are lot of sprinters, climbers, in the US there are a lot of good
riders, I was very surprised when I got here.
Thank you Ivan for taking the time to answer my questions, good luck in your
upcoming races and see you in Georgia.