Alex Dowsett is travelling to the isolated Ponferrada, Spain today readying himself to compete in Sunday’s UCI Team Time Trial World Championship before representing Great Britain in the individual discipline for the third time in his elite career.
Dowsett is set to enter this weekend’s team event with ‘home’ squad Movistar on the back of the Tour of Britain in which he proved to be somewhat of a national hero.
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The Commonwealth Games time trial gold medallist celebrated a stint in the yellow leader’s jersey having made-up a deficit of one minute and 25 seconds at the end of the sixth stage to Hamel Hempstead in which his three-man breakaway stayed clear of a desperate peloton that included overnight leader Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).
Dowsett is hopeful his recent form will carry over. The former British time trial champion marked a stint in the leader’s jersey at April’s Circuit de la Sarthe through an individual time trial victory. He set a new national-10 record just over a month after that.
“I don’t really know how I’ll go in the individual,” he told Cycling Weekly today.
“Since the Commonwealth Games training wise I’ve been focusing more on the top end and I’ve been able to climb a bit better, so haven’t really ridden a time trial bike. I’ve just been training hard.
“For sure it will be better than last year’s worlds. I was sick as a dog there and six and a half minutes down [5-47].”
Movistar has taken a strong squad of seven riders to Ponferrada from which six will be chosen to compete in Sunday’s 57.1km race.
Olympic winner Bradley Wiggins, along with Dowsett, will represent Team GB in the September 24 UCI Individual Time Trial World Championship that features a hilly and technical 47.1km circuit. German Tony Martin has had a stranglehold on the event winning the past three titles.
Dowsett’s late season success comes after the disappointment of missing Tour de France selection. A debut there, which was ultimately lost due to illness, had formed the crux of his 2014 season outline. Whether non-selection had a significant silver lining he does not know.
“I’d like to think I’d still be as, if not more, competitive. I might have been able to be better on the climbs in the Tour of Britain,” he said.
Dowsett is yet to reveal his WorldTour team plans for next year and whether he will stay with Movistar or move on. He made his Grand Tour debut with the Spanish squad, having left Team Sky for want of opportunity, in 2013 winning a stage of the Giro d’Italia where he best Wiggins in a race against the clock.
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Movistar pro and national time trial champion Alex Dowsett speaks to Cycling Weekly this week about the use of tramadol