Cuban sprint specialist Ivan Dominguez, of the Toyota-United Pro
Cycling Team, is ready to tackle the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade
Classic stage race for the first time in his career and will not let
the latest spate of bad luck bring him down.
"I really want to do this race," Dominguez said. "I
cannot keep training and training and training. I need to race to get
This will be the first stage race for Dominguez stage race since
crashing out of the first stage at the Tri-Peaks Challenge in
mid-May, and he only returned to racing two weeks ago at the
Manhattan Beach Grand Prix. Bad luck hit again at his following
race, the Infineon Cougar Mountain Classic Criterium, where Dominguez
was involved in a crash on the final turns on the final lap before
the sprint to the finish line. Dominguez had been in the determining
breakaway group and was an odds-on favorite to take the sprint and
the win. It was an unlucky weekend all around for the team, as Henk
Vogels was also injured in a separate incident and broke his scapula
and will be out for six to eight weeks.
Freak Crash at Tri-Peaks Challenge
"That was a stupid crash, I don't know." said
Dominguez, still uncertain how the freak crash happened during but
thinks it has to do with throwing the bike at slow speed. "I
throw the bike, I was doing a sprint, and talking at the same time
with (Sean) Sullivan. I don't know I guess we were going so slow it's
not the same when you do it (throw the bike) fast, so I was going 20
k/hour, throw the bike and my front wheel flipped and took me over
Dominguez landed first on the back of his head, then his
right shoulder and for a moment thought he had broken his collarbone.
But then, he landed very hard on his back, and knew as soon as it
happened that it was serious. "I cannot breathe, move, the guys
came right away and a few friends from Miami also came and asked me
how I feel, and I said I cannot move." The only way he could
breathe was to put the helmet at the back of his head to stabilize it.
Domniguez explains the extent of his injury
Photo © Thien Dinh
Directly from the race, he went to the hospital and underwent
X-rays and a catscan as his stomach also hurt and he was worried that
there might be some internal bleeding. Happily, nothing showed up and
he went back home to rest and recover. However, a week later, after
still experiencing a lot of pain in his back, he went back for an MRI
where the medical staff discovered that his fifth rib was cracked,
and from that point on, only rest was advised.
"It's rest and
wait for it to heal by itself normally some people put an
old-fashioned thing (corset) but it's hard to sleep."
It was a difficult period for Dominguez as he couldn't do anything
on the bike and had trouble sleeping, "it was hard to walk, to
drive, to do everything, to sit. You know when it's broken you deal
with it but when it's something like that, you want to train but you
cannot do it. It's hard."
Helping during his recovery period was the support from his
teammates and fans. He received masses of emails, phonecalls and was
surprised by the outpouring of attention and well wishes he received
from fans. "I said to my wife, you know how many people call
everyday. It feels nice, before that I knew that people know me but
after I crashed that's when I realized how much people like me. It's
Dominguez finally got back on his bike two weeks before returning
to racing at the Manhattan Beach Grand Prix in front on his home
town fans but his form was still not one hundred percent, especially
compared to his competitors. "These guys have been racing for a
month a half that I stopped, they keep riding and racing I don't know
if I can deliver today but I'm going to do my best."
Dominguez finished second in a sprint to Rahsaan Bahati (Rock
Racing) in a race which is known for a dangerous last turn before the
final finish. "The legs were a little bit heavy, but second
place is good. I'm still in pain, and I need more racing", said
a tired Dominguez after the race.
Bad Luck hits again at Cougar Mountain Classic
With one more week of training in his legs, Dominguez came to the Infineon
Cougar Mountain Classic Criterium with three teammates with one thing
in mind, winning, and before the race he happily informed me that he
"was doing good, the pain is gone."
Dominguez managed to get into the decisive 10-man breakaway of the race and
the group lapped the field halfway through the 90-minute criterium.
He appeared to be in the perfect position to win the race when with
two turns to go, Dominguez was sitting in third place on the wheel of
Alessandro Bazzana (Successful Living.com p/w Parkpre) who was
following his leadout when the crash happened and a few riders went
Dominguez surveys the damage after the crash in the final turn that knocked him out of the race.
Photo © Veronika Lenzi
|The first guy didn't make it through the turn and went
straight," Dominguez said. "Bazzana braked so I had to
brake too. I was going to be OK, but when you're going 60
kilometers an hour the people behind you can't get stopped and
someone hit me."
Dominguez suffered minor road rash on his body including his hand
and decided to sit out the next day's Circuit Race as pulling on the
bars could be a problem.
Ready to fly at Cascade Cycling Classic
Dominguez will join his
Toytota-United team mates to defend their title at the 6-stage
Cascade Cycling Classic in Oregon and he is targeting stage 4, Friday
night's Desert Orthopedics/Rebound Physical Therapy Downtown
As Dominguez once said "sometimes
you fly" and he is hoping to fly once more at his next race,
and that the spate of bad luck is done.