In a bizarre turn of events, Cycling Time Trials (CTT) have rescinded Alex Dowsett’s wild card entry to the National 25 championship – just 48 hours after giving the Trek-Livestrong professional special dispensation to ride.

The original dilemma, detailed in the May 6 edition of Cycling Weekly, stems from the 21-year-old’s failure to register a qualifying time from January of last year. It meant that Dowsett had a nervous wait to see if the 160-strong men’s field would reach capacity.

When it did fill up, on Monday afternoon, it appeared that the Essex-born rider would be ruled out of the championship. However, upon the entry deadline on Tuesday afternoon, the CTT National Committee awarded Dowsett a wild card entry.

In another twist to the tale, complications have forced them to renege on their original decision.

“He was informed [of the wild card] on Tuesday afternoon. Obviously there’s been a lot of discussion since then. Having spoken to the Chairman, we are rescinding the wild card,” CTT competions and development secretary Keith Lawton confirmed.

“In the haste to accommodate Alex, in redrafting the championship conditions, the National Committee failed to dot all the i’s and cross the t’s. As a result of that, they’ve found themselves in a position where if challenged, they’d be unable to defend it,” Lawton said.

Common sense dictates that a high-flying British professional – let alone Dowsett, who has supported time-trials since his schoolboy days – should be allowed a wild card to ride. However, there is currently nothing in the CTT rulebook for this eventuality.

“I’ve got some history with the event, and I’d like to win it,” Dowsett told CW last week. However, the US-based rider has not requested special treatment and is fully aware of the conditions. “Rules are rules: if I don’t get a ride, I don’t get a ride,” he added.

Dowsett is currently in Boulder, Colorado. He is scheduled to race the Olympia’s Tour in the Netherlands, which starts on Monday.

The National 25 takes place in Boroughbridge on Saturday June 5, boasting a full men’s field for the first time in several years. Michael Hutchinson, Matt Bottrill, Julia Shaw and Alex Royle are among the favourites racing in Yorkshire.

  • Gorilla

    Thomo you are a BUM !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Brian Evans

    If we step back from the specifics the CTT should not have given a wildcard without getting an amendment to the rules instated at the AGM. I know it would be great to see top level riders competing but rules have to be fair and clear. This treatement wasn’t handed out to another pro who entered the National 10 without a qualifying time so the final outcome here was the only fair solution and way of avoiding any possible litigious situation.

  • Peter

    ‘what dies a bunch of sportive riders know about time trials anyway’ – exactly, time trials are for time triallists and long may this closed shop remain. If any new riders are attracted this side of the sport might become more popular and the people winning them now might be challenged and we can’t have that now can we. Time trialling should remain closed and hard for outsiders to join. It’s a local sport for local people and any newcomers can get lost.

  • Thomo

    The armchair critics of CTT make me laugh – they have no real idea of life and the world of sport.
    There are many many sports that require some sort of qualification to get into events, let alone into a Championship. CTT is no different. Alex knew it was a long shot trying to get in without a qulification. He didn’t get in and always accepted he possibly wouldn’t. It must be pointed out that Alex has had almost 17 months to get the qualification done!
    Somehow CTT National Committee seemed to think there was pressure on them to allow a rider who is quite highly regarded for his time trialling (he does hold several TT records as a junior, and has done well in U23 Worlds, etc.) and thought that they could use a bit in the Championship rules to allow a rider in who didn’t ordinarily make the cut. Someone jumped the gun and said it would happen. But clearly they didn’t look closely enough and realised too late that they actually don’t have the power to do what they thought they could (and never have done – despite what they imply above). You can’t make up the rules as you go along. That would be an even worse mockery than the mistake they have let happen.

    Finally, to most of you out there please remember that this is ‘just’ a CTT Championship. The real championship for time trialling recognised in the rest of the world is the British Time Trialling Championships being held in early September – which Alex does not need to qualify, simply enter. Alex is the current U23 Champion from last year, and the current senior mens Champion is Bradley Wiggins, and not forgetting the womens Champion is Emma Pooley. All are known in world cycling as some of the best at time trialling worldwide. If any of those entered the BTTC but were refused a ride then we would be quite rightly furious about it. But this is not the case here.

  • CarlosFerreiro

    The general feeling among the TTs seems to be that it would be good to see Alex ride, but as he has not qualified it would be unfair to those that did qualify to make a special case for him, outside the rules for the event.
    Pretty much the same as Alex has said previously himself.

  • Phil Buckley

    We are in the year 2010…NOT 1910, with Black Tights, Black Jackets and secret Time-Trials.

    GET REAL C.T.T !!!!!!!

  • kc

    who’ll challenge….you obviously don’t know how petty, small minded and self important most english testers seem to be !!!

  • Bernard

    who’s Alex Dowsett?

  • fastmindslowlegs

    What does a bunch of Sportive riders know about Time Trialling anyway.

  • Ken Evans

    And I thought the UCI were mad !!!

  • Graham

    Whilst I agree that it seems a bit archaic to exclude this international rider from the 25, golf overcame such challenges in selection of Rider Cup players from an international pool. I remember the DITWC (Died in the wool club) in the late sixties or early 70s for which to qualify one had to have archain attitudes to cycling – has nothing changed in 40 years?

    British time trialing is a nice comfortable place where we of disparate qualities can play in the same pool, but I think we all realise that internation stars trump our local 25 times.

  • Manni

    ‘If challenged’? Who in their right mind would challenge giving Dowsett the opportunity to ride? The CTT… not actually evil, but bad tempered, bureaucratic, officious and callous. They wouldn’t even lift a finger to save their own grandmothers without orders signed in triplicate, sent in, sent back, queried, lost, found, subjected to public inquiry, lost again, and finally buried in soft peat and recycled as firelighters. A very British comedy.

  • Steve Devine

    Ridiculous is all I can say. who exactly is going to challenge who about what?

  • Mike Solomon

    Completely agree with Clive. If the CTT want to survive they need to move with the times.

  • Clive

    This is a complete farce. No wonder the CTT is failing, they haven’t/can’t move on from the 1950s.

    What a joke.