By Sophie Smith
Triple British national time trial champion Alex Dowsett marked a career-defining win at the Giro d’Italia last year but has chosen to skip the Italian Grand Tour this season in pursuit of a different milestone.
Dowsett is currently training in Spain as he takes steps toward a Tour de France debut with Movistar this summer.
“Ever since I joined Movistar the Tour this year was their objective for me,” Dowsett said. “Nothing is certain until you’re on that start line but so far everything is looking good towards it. That’s why I’m not starting the Giro.”
The 25-year-old vindicated a transfer from Sky to the Spanish outfit with his victory at the 2013 Giro in which he best compatriot and Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins in the stage eight time trial.
Dowsett signed with Movistar at the end of 2012 in no small part due to the big race opportunities, which last year included a northern classics and Grand Tour debut, it offered.
“It’s a funny one because you might not win a race but you have your own personal victories. In 2010 I broke a shoulder blade and then won under-23 European championships seven weeks later, so you have little victories like that, which maybe mean more to you because of the stuff you had to overcome,” he said. “But the Giro one was a surprise. I didn’t take into account that I was eight days into a stage race. I was looking at the numbers in front of me and thinking this actually isn’t very good.”
The off-contract time trial specialist was not due to return to the cobbles this season but did with the team having to alter its roster through illness and injury.
“I asked not to do them because I’m putting all my eggs in the Tour basket this year and I got a fairly strong indication last year that you need to prepare very specifically for the classics,” he said. “There was no pressure, the team said basically just do what you can but I had a nice reminder again that you have to prepare specifically for the classics.”
Dowsett was obviously in winning form this time last year and believes he is in better shape again taking confidence from a stage victory at April’s Circuit de la Sarthe and a solid ride at the Giro del Trentino.
“I was climbing alright for me anyway,” he said of the latter. “It worked out [Adriano] Malori, myself and Daniel Oss were the three heaviest riders in the race. You didn’t really have your normal gruppetto with sprinters and lead-out guys because everyone there was a climber. I wasn’t really even in that. I was in the gruppetto ahead of that so for me that showed I’ve progressed a fair bit. I was quite happy.”
Dowsett is set to start the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon later this month before the Criterium du Dauphine in which he is targeting the 10km prologue. All being well he will then taper for a Yorkshire Grand Depart.
“That’s where the team wants me, that’s where I want to be and I’ll be very disappointed if it doesn’t go that way,” Dowsett said.
Movistar has entered the 97th edition of the Giro this year with race title favourite and Tour de France runner-up Nairo Quintana.
The Movistar rider tells Cycling Weekly that Dave Brailsford ask him to skip last Sunday's world team time trial championships
All the new Zwift features to watch out for in 2021/2022
The brand has unveiled new home screens, club capabilities - and - new roads
By Michelle Arthurs-Brennan •
Driver cleared of killing cyclist after claiming 'no recollection' of fatal crash
The crash occurred in 2018, with the jury's verdict delivered yesterday
By Ryan Dabbs •
Marc Soler describes inability to stand up after Tour de France crash: 'I was really dizzy'
The Movistar rider crashed out of May's Giro d'Italia and is unlikely to return to Grand Tour action until next year
By Chris Marshall-Bell •
‘If people saw the speeds we’re climbing, they wouldn’t complain about the lack of attacks,’ says Enric Mas
We’re now a week into the Tour de France 2020 and the general classification remains perfectly poised.
By Alex Ballinger •
Nairo Quintana returns to take victory as Julian Alaphilippe holds yellow on stage 18 of Tour de France 2019
A revenant Nairo Quintana annihilated his rivals on the high-altitude slopes of the Galibier to take stage victory, as Julian Alaphilippe survived a shaky day to hold the yellow jersey.
By Alex Ballinger •
Movistar boss confirms departure of Carapaz & Quintana but says Landa future still uncertain
Eusebio Unzué says the team has made an offer to Deceuninck-Quick-Step's Enric Mas for next season
By Richard Windsor •
‘It was epic, like nothing I’ve ever experienced’: Alex Dowsett on his emotions climbing the Tourmalet at Tour de France
Alex Dowsett said climbing the Tourmalet was “like nothing I’ve ever experienced,” describing his emotions as he rose to the summit of the iconic mountain.
By Alex Ballinger •
Alejandro Valverde says Nairo Quintana didn't mention he was feeling bad before losing time on the Tourmalet
The Colombian lost more than three minutes and saw his GC ambitions crumble
By Jonny Long •
Movistar 'lucky' not to have lost more time at Tour de France, says Nairo Quintana
The Colombian says the pressure is all on Ineos
By Jonny Long •
Movistar left in shock as Mikel Landa crash sends him down Tour de France overall rankings
The Spaniard is over four minutes down overall after a disastrous day at the Tour de France
By Gregor Brown •