The 25 year-old finished 2:35.10 down on the rainbow jersey winner Bradley Wiggins after he suffered on the lumpy finale to the 47.1km course around Ponferrada.
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“It felt like I had one pace, I just couldn’t dig really deep when I wanted to,” he said. “I feel like I haven’t really recovered properly from the Tour of Britain, I’ve just been sort of fighting to get back on top of things since. Which is not what I wanted.”
Dowsett, who recently signed a new three-year deal with Movistar, believed the time trial in Spain was “a real power-to-weight course,” which ultimately played into Wiggins’ hands more than his.
“I think the wind changed direction today; the first 12km we expected to be real easy, or just really fast, but it was a headwind, so it wasn’t quite as easy as I thought it was going to be,” he added.
“At the end you had to be able to lift the Watts, drop them, lift the Watts and drop them.”
“I was looking at my power meter all the time. Unfortunately I was looking at it hoping it would say a bit more than it did.”
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Commonwealth Games time trial champion Alex Dowsett inks new three-year deal with Spanishg team Movistar, through to end of 2017