Last Saturday turned out a lot better than Alex Dowsett had dared hope. “And relax…. For now…” tweeted the World Hour record holder after Sir Bradley Wiggins had failed to beat his 10-mile competition record.
That was the icing on the cake for Dowsett, who hours earlier that afternoon had scored a one-second victory in the 26.1-kilometre time trial in the Bayern Rundfahrt stage race. It was enough to give him overall victory, the first stage race win of his career.
It was a strange reversal in fortunes with Dowsett winning a top international stage race, while the 2012 Tour de France winner was battling gusty crosswinds on the A63 dual carriageway not far from Hull.
Next round of the Wiggins versus Dowsett contest is in a couple of weeks’ time when Sir Bradley sets his sights on Dowsett’s Hour record, an ongoing rivalry that had Alex joke: “He’ll be after my girlfriend next!”
Wiggo has also entered other 10-mile time trials later in June in an attempt to lift that record from Dowsett, but if the Movistar rider makes his expected Tour de France debut he’ll be able to capitalise on that form to take back anything Wiggins takes from him.
It’s like Chris Boardman versus Graeme Obree all over again, and that can’t be a bad thing.
Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly