Timmy Duggan, the Fairview High School grad who went on to win last year's U.S. road race championship and compete in the 2012 Olympics, said Monday he is retiring from professional cycling.
Duggan, 31, said his contract with financially strapped Team Saxo-Tinkoff was not renewed because of budget cuts and he could not find a suitable deal with another team.
"I'm ready to move on to better things," Duggan said by phone. "I don't see myself being happy enough compared to moving on to other parts of my life. Now is the right time to look outside of sport."
The Nederland resident said the harsh economic climate in cycling has affected many cyclists. In the past year, World Tour teams Euskaltel-Euskadi of Spain and Vacansoleil of the Netherlands have folded. Also folding were the Pro Continental teams Sojasun of France and Champion Systems of China and Bissell, a U.S. Continental team a notch below.
"Five or six teams, times 25-30 riders — that's a lot of riders on the market," Duggan said. "That was a factor in my decision and getting an adequate contract for my standards. A lot of riders were in that same situation from my generation, 30-31 (years old).
"We've been doing it a long time. We have certain results and we have certain standards."
Another big factor was family.
"I spent time with my grandmother over Thanksgiving," he said. "My grandmother has Alzheimer's. If I'm in training camp and don't get back until the Tour of California (in May), my grandmother might not remember me at that point.
"A family thing like that you don't get back ever. That's not worth racing another year."
Duggan also had his share of injuries. He won the national title only four years after suffering a serious brain injury in 2008. He also broke his tibia and collarbone during the Tour Down Under on Jan. 23.
"I found I wasn't willing to deal with the lows of the sport anymore to get back to the highs," he said. "I've done enough."
Duggan was one of the early riders of the Boulder-based TIAA-CREF, now Team Garmin-Sharp. A year after brain surgery in 2008, he placed second on the final stage of the Criterium de Dauphine and was named the Most Aggressive Rider for Colorado's inaugural USA Pro Challenge in 2011.
Besides spending time with his wife, Duggan is attending real estate school. His parents have been in the business around Boulder for 30 years.
He will also coach skiers on the Eldora Mountain Ski Club.
"Cycling has given me a lot," Duggan said. "I wouldn't change a thing. But it has also taken a lot away. I've accomplished more than I can imagine when I set out in this sport.
"With multiple broken bones and a brain injury in the bank, I'm just not willing to keep sacrificing that."
John Henderson: firstname.lastname@example.org or twitter.com/johnhendersondp