There are probably worse places to finish in a race than fourth (starting with fifth), but when it's a championship and there are medals being awarded, then finishing fourth probably feels like a bit of a wounder.
Spare a thought then for young French-based Doug Dewey who was lying in second place in the National time trial championship in Stewarton with only two riders to finish. Sadly for Dewey, the two riders to still to finish were eventual champion Alex Dowsett (Movistar) and Matt Bottrill (Drag2Zero.co.uk).
In the space of less than four minutes, Dewey went from silver to the unlucky step - fourth, 32 seconds behind champion Dowsett and 11 seconds from a silver (or bronze) medal.
Dewey, racing for Hennebont Cyclisme in Brittany this year, has already had four road race wins in France, including a stage race, collected a bronze medal at the National ‘10' championship and "been a bit rubbish" in the recent National ‘25' time trial championship. Although immediately after his podium slot was taken he was understandably disappointed, an hour later he had put his ride into perspective.
"It was a much better ride than I did in the ‘25', I can't really complain, because that was as good as I could ride tonight, all the (SRM) numbers were good, so my coach will be pleased, he won't be able to say I wasn't trying," smiled Dewey.
Dewey is in fact coached by Kent-based team TrainSharp, comprising Jon Sharples and ex-pro Sean Yates and he's been doing well this season, with a decent road racing programme in France helping him in his preparation for the National ‘10', ‘25', the National time trial championship and, this Sunday, the National road race championship.
"I was really disappointed in the ‘25', there's just something about that distance that doesn't suit me. Maybe if I started telling myself it was a 24 or a 26 I could trick my brain," laughed Dewey, whose ride over the BC National championship was nearer 30 miles long.
And to lose only 32 seconds to Movistar pro Dowsett and 11 seconds to established Team Sky rider Ben Swift and his 35-year-old time trial nemesis Matt Bottrill over that distance isn't too shoddy. "No, maybe not, but if you're not on the podium then you are nothing, nobody remembers you."
A harsher observation would be harder to make. To finish so close to two WorldTour pros and to be able to time trial and win road races is a skill set that shouldn't be overlooked. Some riders can time trial, some can road race but very few can do both - that's a far from forgettable talent in a 23 year old. And fourth might not have got a medal, but it did net him seven UCI ranking points...
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Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.
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