Alex Dowsett named in Movistar squad for Tour de France

Photo: Russ Ellis

British time trial champion Alex Dowsett will ride his first Tour de France this summer, having been picked in the nine-man Movistar squad.

The former UCI Hour Record holder will be a key helper for the Spanish squad's overall contender Nairo Quintana and will be among the favourites for the opening time trial in Utrecht.

The selection caps a remarkable year for the Essex-born rider, who suffered a broken collarbone in January - forcing him to postpone his Hour Record attempt.

He recovered in time to make his attempt in May and broke Rohan Dennis's mark in the Manchester velodrome. Later that month he claimed his first stage race victory at Bayern-Rundfahrt on the back of a strong time trial on the penultimate stage.

Then, on June 25, Dowsett equalled Stuart Dangerfield's haul of four British National Championships time trial titles by winning in Lincoln.

Dowsett rode alongside Quintana at the Route du Sud the previous week and also started the Criterium du Dauphiné, helping Movistar to third place in the team time trial.

With a team time trial featuring on stage nine of this year's Tour, Dowsett will join two other national time trial champions in Jonathan Castroviejo and Adriano Malori in a strong lineup.

Spanish national road race champion Alejandro Valverde is also in the squad, having led in the Tour de France last year.

Movistar squad for the Tour de France

Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, Imanol Erviti, Jonathan Castroviejo, Gorka Izagirre, José Herrada, Adriano Malori, Alex Dowsett and Winner Anacona

Cycling Weekly's panel discusses the Grand Depart in Utrecht