In a bizarre turn of events, Cycling Time Trials (CTT) have rescinded Alex Dowsett’s wild card entry to the National 25 championship – just 48 hours after giving the Trek-Livestrong professional special dispensation to ride.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