Alex Dowsett isn’t expecting to be part of the nine man Movistar team that takes to the Tour de France startline in Mont Saint-Michel on Saturday, July 2.
The Essex rider is on the Spanish outfit’s long-list of 12 aiming to support Nairo Quintana but his poor performances at the Tour of Switzerland will count against him, he fears.
Dowsett won the British National Time Trial Championships for a fifth time in Stockton-on-Tees on Thursday, but his season has been frustrating: he was set to ride the Giro d’Italia but surgery on a metal plate in his collarbone thwarted his ambitions to win a second Giro time trial stage.
He then raced in Switzerland but finished fifth last in the opening prologue and abandoned on stage five.
“Honestly, given how Switzerland went – which was badly – I’ll be surprised if they take me,” Dowsett told Cycling Weekly.
“There’s that [Switzerland performance] and on top of that it’s how well all my teammates are going as well. A lot of guys on that longlist have won a stage of the Dauphiné and have done incredible jobs there, Switzerland and Route du Sud.
“I was really under par at Switzerland. It’s a lack of top end form. It’s a misjudgement in training. I have done a lot of threshold stuff and my time trialing at the moment is good but I’ve neglected the top end and that showed in Switzerland. It’s something that will come back so I’ll probably do the Tour of Poland.”
Dowsett lived up to his favourite tag in the time trial, beating James Gullen (Pedal Heaven) in Stockton by 1:16, with Army captain Ryan Perry (Lansdale Lightweights) another 58 seconds back.
“To take this on the continent and to race the time trials out there is massive and a very proud moment for me,” he added.
“James and Ryan were both closer than I thought they would be. I went harder this year than last year and they were closer.
“I knew after a lap I had 12 seconds on Ryan and that I’d paced it to perfection. I just looked after myself really well [and] managed to lift it on the last lap.”
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Dowsett was the only WorldTour professional racing the time trial, but when asked if he would like to come up against his fellow peers in the national event, he joked, “Not really!
“Of course I want to measure myself against them but I like this jersey. If this can be as easy for me, then I’ll take that. Geraint [Thomas] and [Chris] Froome would be huge opponents but you can’t take credit away from the competition here.
“I’m sure I’ll come up against G and Chris [in other races], but it’s the Nationals and I come here with one goal: to get the jersey – so I don’t want competition for this race! Any other race I’ll have the competition!”