Joe Dombrowski has re-signed with EF Pro Cycling for the upcoming season. The American finished fifth overall at the 2018 Colorado Classic and sixth overall at the 2018 Tour of Utah.
“It’s not a secret that the last couple of seasons have not been what I wanted results-wise,” said Dombrowski. “I’m focused on doing what I need to do to get back to the level that I know I’m capable of in races.”
“It’s great to have Joe back,” said EF Pro Cycling CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “He knows our team and has been a great presence here over the years. Joe had a spectacular 2016 season where he was in multiple breaks at that year’s Giro and finished third in the hardest mountain stage. The last couple years have been a bit of a struggle for him, but in the end, talent doesn’t just go away. We want to give that talent an opportunity to rebuild.”
Dombrowski, 27, has raced four seasons in Argyle following his move to the American-registered outfit from Team Sky, where he spent his neo-pro seasons.
“This team has a great environment, and having been here a while now, I knew that coming back I would be a part of that,” said Dombrowski. “I would consider my teammates as my friends, and I think that cohesion can go a long way in getting the most of out of a team and an individual.”
The team’s newly announced alternative race program appeals to Dombrowski, who is has been an occasional participant in non-road cycling events throughout his career
“Joe was sort of our first index, the first rider we dipped into alternative races, at the 2016 Leadville 100,” said Vaughters. “He competes in some cyclocross, too. We felt like he would be a great fit for some of the alternative racing we’d be doing next season and beyond. We’re all pretty excited about that.”
“My first focus is, of course, on the traditional road calendar, but the alternative race program is also quite interesting. I got my start racing mountain bike and cyclocross. I still jump in the odd cyclocross race in the off-season and in 2016 I raced Leadville with this team,” said Dombrowski. “Cycling’s fan base, particularly in America, is a participatory one. It’s not the same as the traditional American sports in that sense. Professional road cycling can be quite insular and convoluted. With a participatory fan base, watching races is not what creates a feeling of engagement in the sport.
“My motivation to race in other events in the past has always been as a fun outlet, but I have also found that they develop a strong connection to the cycling community,” Dombrowski added. “It’s something I like to see as a way of giving back and engaging with the community that has allowed me to have a career in this sport. I think this project can be just that on a much larger scale, and I look forward to seeing where it goes.”
Like his teammates, Dombrowski has enjoyed the introduction of EF Education First into the team and the sport.
“EF has changed things for us in the sense that they feel less like a ‘partner’ or a ‘sponsor’ in a traditional sense. They feel more integrated. Almost as though we are truly co-workers,” said Dombrowski. “You get that feeling especially when they bring employees to races and we coordinate on events. It’s been an interesting change. I’ve never been in a team where there hasn’t been a separation between team and sponsor. It’s nice that as owners they’re invested in bringing in some of the positive aspects of a company their size and scope into our smaller team.”