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Alex Dowsett – Happy to Have Repaid Movistar’s Faith

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Alex Dowsett

One of the standout performances during the 2013 Giro was Alex Dowsett’s (Movistar & GB) winning ride in the brutal Stage Eight 55 kilometre time trial ahead of all the ‘Bigs’ – to prove categorically that there is; ‘life after Sky,’

Dowsett has shown his class over the years, shining in each level of his career.

He was British junior time trial champion in 2005 and 2006 before moving up to take the U23 title in the same discipline in 2008 and 2009.

It was also in 2009 that he gained his first big international result with seventh in the world U23 TT championships.

That ride was followed by a 2010 season with the Trek-Livestrong U23 squad, where he continued his progression.

He won the European time trial championship, nabbed silver in the Commonwealth Games time trial and took victory in the U23 Chrono des Nations.

Unsurprisingly, Sky was interested and snapped him up.

Alex Dowsett
Alex sees himself as a time trial specialist. Photo©Getty

In 2011 he won the super-fast Smithfield nocturne criterium in London; was fifth in the Tour of Denmark; won a stage and was second on GC in the Tour du Poitou-Charentes; took the British elite time trial championship, won the time trial in the Tour of Britain and rounded his season off with third in the Chrono des Nations behind world champion Tony Martin.

Last season, still with Sky, he took the British time trial title again, was second to a rampant Ian Stannard in the road race champs, took eighth on the tough Valkenburg course in the Worlds TT and was second in the Duo Normand with Luke Rowe.

We spoke to Alex about his brilliant win, life after Sky and how his Spanish is coming along shortly before he headed off to ride the Route du Sud.

Alex Dowsett
Alex takes top spot on the Giro podium. Photo©Ferrari

Congratulations on the Giro stage, Alex; a brilliant ride – that course looked savage, did you recce it?

“Nah, I rode the first 10 K and drove the first 20 K in the car; otherwise I didn’t see it beforehand. I know that Wiggins recce-ed the full course and it would have been to my advantage to do the same.

“But having said that if I’d seen the climb then maybe I wouldn’t have gone out so fast?

“On that last climb Wiggins took a lot of time back on me but I had a buffer on him with going out as fast as I did.

“He rode that last climb very strongly – but I won the stage!”

Did you ride on watts?

“I thought I would – but in the event I had to throw that out the window and ride on ‘feel’ because my watts were so low.

“Remember you’re eight days into a tough stage race – so I ended up just tapping away as hard as I could.”

Alex Dowsett
Heading for a historic first Grand Tour win. Photo©Ferrari

How about that wait in the hot seat?

“I’m used to that; even from way back in my schoolboy days – but that doesn’t make it any less excruciating!2

Movistar management must be chuffed?

“We won four stages, three of those in a row so the boss is over the moon; and of course, the team is buzzing.”

Alex Dowsett
Alex was one of only a few riders to use a lo-pro machine. Photo©Ed Hood

You were one of the few to start the mountain time trial on a TT bike…

“I started on it but there was a ghost in the electrics, the gears worked perfectly before the start and when we checked them after the race; but when I rolled down the ramp they just didn’t work – so I had to change to my road bike.

“It was a mentality thing – I’m a TT specialist and didn’t want to ride the same bike as the climbers.

“It was a gamble, there were a couple of pretty fast parts on the course – but being on the TT bike wouldn’t have gained you much time.”

Still on Pinarello.

“Yeah, they’re good bikes and I like Campag equipment – I have a Graal for the TT’s but think I’ll be getting one of the new Bolides.”