14 life lessons from Grand Tour stage winner Alex Dowsett - direct and humorous takes for boosting your fitness

A hero to club time triallists in Essex, Alex Dowsett is the everyman who broke the Hour record and won Grand Tour stages

Alex Dowsett leaning on his bike
(Image credit: Future)

Alex Dowsett accomplished what most of us can only dream of – going from riding his club 10 in Maldon, Essex (UK), to having a 13-year professional career that included two Grand Tour stage wins, the Hour record and six national time trial titles. Dowsett retired from professional cycling last autumn, and spent the winter skiing and running in preparation for the 2023 London Marathon. The 34 year-old will return to cycling though with a programme of time trialling and gravel racing

Alex Dowsett generously gave up two hours of his time, over two separate video calls, to answer CW’s questions on performance and training. With characteristic directness and humour, he talked us through lessons learned from a decade-and-a-half at the top of the sport. 

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Chris Marshall-Bell

A freelance sports journalist and podcaster, you'll mostly find Chris's byline attached to news scoops, profile interviews and long reads across a variety of different publications. He has been writing regularly for Cycling Weekly since 2013. In 2024 he released a seven-part podcast documentary, Ghost in the Machine, about motor doping in cycling.

Previously a ski, hiking and cycling guide in the Canadian Rockies and Spanish Pyrenees, he almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains. He lives in Valencia, Spain.