British Cycling National Time Trial Championships 2016

Stockton-On-Tees

Dowsett, Simmonds And Davies Back Up Their Twenty-Fifteen Titles Here In Stockton-On-Tees In The National Time Trial Championships 2016 Defending champion Alex Dowsett [Movistar] successfully reclaims his Time Trial National Jersey in Stockton-On-Tees for an impressive fifth senior title. Setting the quickest first split, Dowsett was the odd-on favorite around the circuit through the High Street, along the Riverside and out of town before returning for another three laps. James Gullen [Pedal Heaven] posted the closest time for Silver over a minute down and Ryan Perry [Langdale Lightweights RT] the Bronze. Talking in-front of the assembled cheering crowd Dowsett praised Stockton Council on their circuit layout and organization.

The whole Town Centre aspect of time-trialing is really something quite incredible. (Last year’s circuit was on a partly closed circuit at Cadwell Park Racing circuit near Louth, Lincolnshire) The atmosphere was really great, even out of town there were a lot of people watching. I think the course suited the spectator crowd, so Stockton should be proud of what they put on today.

For me personally I paced it I’d say, as perfectly as I could.

The gap to second last year was a lot bigger. I’ve seen these guys at 10s this year and it’s great to see British time-trialing really coming up.

Alex Dowsett

British National Time Trial Champion 2016, Movistar

When Alex was asked about another hour record attempt in the near future:  I hope so, the bar has been set quite high by Wiggins (Bradley). I know I’m capable of it from the numbers from the last attempt. It’s just a question of when. 54k is not a distance to taking lightly. It’s a huge ask from my team [Movistar] as well to set it up. It takes months to set up. I can’t see it happening this year, but possibly for next year.

 

Hayley Simmonds successfully defended her first National title from twenty-fifteen backing up her win having spent most of the year riding abroad riding her first professional contract.

Back on her beloved Cervelo P5, Simmonds put over half a minute on her closest on-form rival Claire Rose [Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa] who took Silver, with Team-mate Dame Sarah Storey close behind for Bronze.

Cycling Shorts: What have you been up to recently?

SimmondsWith-in the last couple of weeks I’ve recently changed Teams. I was riding professionally for Unitedhealthcare, I made the decision when they offered me, to be let out of my contract, so I accepted that. I made the decision to ride for Aerocoach. 

It was a really hard decision to leave the team. I had to weigh-up in my mind, was I prepared to potentially sacrifice defending my title today to remain on the team.

I decided that I wasn’t and that defending my title today probably meant more to me.

I want to return to a UCI team, I want to be a professional bike rider.

Hopefully I’ll be able to find a UCI team for next year.

I’m lucky that I managed to find some guest rides in UCI races for the later part of the year. So I will still be keeping my hand in UCI races.

Cycling Shorts: How did you find the course here in Stockton-On-Tees and did it suit you?

SimmondsI didn’t think it suited me. When I looked at the course before, I didn’t think it suited me as much as last year’s course did. But it was a good course. It was a really interesting course. It was a course of two parts.

It had a technical bit in the town centre and the dual carriageway section that was more of a traditional time trial course.

The bit in the town centre was actually really good in terms of support from local people and I was lucky enough to meet some of the local people a couple of weeks ago when I first came to look at the course.

The support was great and yeh! It suited me enough.

 

Interview – Hayley Simmonds 2016 National TT Champion by Cycling Shorts

Haley Simmonds talks to CyclingShorts.cc writer / Photographer Chris Maher after taking the 2016 National TT Champion title in Stockton.

In the U23 Time Trial, Scott Davies [Team Wiggins] also defended his twenty-fifteen title beating Tao Geoghegen Hart [Axeon Hagens Berman CT] for Silver by nineteen seconds with Gabriel Cullaigh [100%ME] a further thirty seconds back off the pace.

  1.  40 Davies Scott Team Wiggins 44: 44:10.43
  2.  39 Geoghegan Hart Tao Axeon Hagens Berman CT 44:29.81 @9.38
  3.  34 Cullaigh Gabriel 100% ME 44:40.24 @29.81
  4.  35 Hetherington Ben Planet X – Northside Cycling 44:[email protected]
  5.  38 Baylis Thomas One Pro Cycling 44:53.39 @42.96
  6.  37 Shaw James Lotto Soudal U23 45:12.22 @01:01.8
  7.  12 Fry Joseph Pedal Heaven 45:24.97 @01:14.5
  8.  28 Kelly Jake Team Wiggins 45:42.33 @01:31.8
  9.  36 Stewart Mark 100% ME 45:54.37 @01:43.9
  10.  30 Latham Christopher Team Wiggins 45:54.60 @01:44.2
  1.  50 Hayley Simmonds Aerocoach 47:33.36
  2.  44 Claire Rose Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa 48:06.32  @0:32.96
  3.  47 Dame Sarah Storey Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa 48:12.47 @0:06.15
  4.  49 Emma Pooley 48:33.46 @0:20.99
  5.  45 Hannah Barnes Canyon – SRAM 49:29.28 @0:55.82
  6.  40 Julia Shaw 49:39.92 @0:10.64
  7.  48 Molly Weaver Liv-Plantur 49:53.32 @0:13.40
  8.  11 Elizabeth-Jane Harris Podium Ambition p/b Club La Santa 50:56.20 @1:02.88
  9.  9 Angela Hibbs Fusion RT Fierlan 51:03.12 @0:06.92
  10.  42 Abby-Mae Parkinson Servetto Footon 51:13.39 @0:10.27
  1.  40 Alex Dowsett Movistar Team 0:55:38.52
  2.  35 James Gullen Pedal Heaven 0:56:54.83
  3.  38 Ryan Perry Langdale Lightweights Racing Team 0:57:52.53
  4.  32 Peter Williams One Pro Cycling 0:58:15.36
  5.  26 Richard Handley One Pro Cycling 0:59:09.39
  6.  33 Samuel Harrison Team Wiggins 0:59:11.87
  7.  37 Lloyd Chapman Pedal Heaven 0:59:36.73
  8.  20 Ashley Cox CC Luton 0:59:45.70
  9.  36 Andrew Tennant Team Wiggins 0:59:59.87
  10.  34 Rhys Howells Richardsons-Trek RT 1:00:04.48

Yellow Jersey changes hands in Brighton, as Julien Vermote wins stage

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Julien Vermote wins Stage Seven in Brighton

The drama continued in the Friends Life Tour of Britain as the Friends Life Yellow Jersey changed hands yet again, as the end of a thrilling stage to Brighton, won by Julien Vermote.

A trio of testing SKODA King of the Mountains climbs in the final 60-kilometres took their toll on the peloton, and Friends Life Yellow Jersey Alex Dowsett in particular, with the Movistar Team rider losing 2 minutes 34 seconds and falling to tenth place overall.

Garmin Sharp’s Dylan Van Baarle held on from the break to take third, behind Ignatas Konovalovas, but more importantly to become the sixth Friends Life Yellow Jersey of the week, taking a 19-second lead over Michal Kwiatowski into the final stage.

At the head of the stage it was Vermote, with the Omega Pharma Quick-Step rider attacking from the break on Ditchling Beacon and soloing to victory on Brighton’s Madeira Drive.

With the race behind splitting to pieces, it was an attack from Vermote’s teammate Kwiatkowski, also on Ditchling Beacon, that detached Dowsett and sent a 22-rider group away, including the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Nicolas Roche and Edoardo Zardini.

Dowsett, assisted by Giovanni Visconti, chased, but in vain and with no further help, as the Bear Road climb and fast descent to the finish prevented them from regaining contact.

Vermote was able to win alone, with Konovalovas and Van Baarle following him home, before Kwiatkowski led in the group for fourth, rejigging the Friends Life General Classification dramatically.

Dylan van Baarle, Friends Life Yellow Jersey

Dylan van Baarle, Friends Life Yellow Jersey

Speaking afterwards on his dramatic rise into the Friends Life Yellow Jersey, Van Baarle said, “I possibly went under the radar a bit I was still I think 14th in GC but they don’t know my name for now, and hopefully they will remember me.

“I’m really tired. It was a pretty hard day, we went almost from start to finish full gas and when I crossed the line i was completely dead.

“I started to think we might do it when we had ten minutes in the break. Then some DS said there were only two Movistar guys riding and then we held the pace really high. Then Julien [Vermote] said he wasn’t going to ride anymore because OPQS are chasing. At that moment me and Konovalovas went full gas to the finish line.

“Before the start of this race I knew that I wanted to show my name a little bit, show myself maybe get a top ten or top fifteen but I didn’t expect to be wearing the yellow jersey. Now I’m thinking about the podium or maybe winning.

“I like the short prologue distances for time-trial. I’m not a Wiggins that needs 50km or whatever. I’m more a prologue specialist. I will do my best and we will see what happens tomorrow. I don’t know how the legs will feel tomorrow for the other guys and it will be hard tomorrow.”

Van Baarle’s nearest challenger is Kwiatkowski, with the Polish time trial champion 19 seconds in arrears

“As you see, it’s hard racing here at Tour of Britain! The peloton couldn’t control this breakaway. Luckily we had a strong Julien Vermote there. He really deserves this win. He pulled so much for us, for me every single day and today he took a beautiful victory. Congratulations to him. We’re really happy about it.

“Of course, I wanted to also take back the yellow jersey but Van Baarle was still in front. It’s hard to control everything in a race. We accelerated on the second-to-last climb and dropped Dowsett, but it was hard to close the gap on the group between Vermote and us. But OK, I’m only 19″ down. There is the time trial tomorrow which I said earlier in this race that it would be important, even if it’s short. Anything can happen. I have done well on short time trials like the one of tomorrow. So we will see. But today we are going to celebrate the big victory of Julien.”

Having received the congratulations of his Omega Pharma Quick-Step teammates, including Mark Cavendish, immediately after the line, 25-year-old Vermote admitted he hadn’t been expect the result.

Julien Vermote wins Stage Seven

Julien Vermote winning the stage

“I’m pretty surprised I had the energy for a breakaway win to be honest. Only one day this week I didn’t ride at the front of the peloton because five days out of the six I was pulling for either Kwiatkowski or Cav. I had given my all every time but every day I seem to have recovered well and I have felt very strong.

“Today we didn’t mention me getting in the break at the team meeting but at the beginning of the stage Kwia rode up to me and said maybe it would be a good idea for me to get in the break if I was able. He thought that perhaps I would then be in a position to help him in the final stages if the peloton caught the break.

“I got in the break and I immediately felt good and when out lead went to ten minutes I remembered from the previous day how hard it is to chase down a break like that. We rode very well as a group but at 140-kilometres I stopped contributing because still my main thought was Kwia for GC back in the peloton. Anyway when we rode through the second last climb it was clear we would stay away so I started to ride full gas again and then I really wanted to win. I know my place in the team with all the great riders we have, I love to help them, but also I like to ride to get one victory for the team as well

“My teammates were so happy for me after the finish and it shows that the work I do for all of them, and the team, includes big rewards for myself too.”

In addition to the stage win, Omega Pharma Quick-Step’s third of the week, Vermote also took the Stage Seven Rouleur Combativity Award.

Reacting to losing the Friends Life Yellow Jersey, Dowsett said afterwards; “I was disappointed. I thought I woke up feeling pretty fresh, but as soon as we hit those climbs, I knew I was suffering. I got as much food down my neck as I could, and looked after myself as best as I could. The team were amazing today, it’s difficult because we had three guys up there on GC. With the finish being as hard as it was, we knew we needed a back-up plan. We didn’t want to be using Giovanni [Visconti] or [Ion] Izaguirre to work. But the gap to the break went out so much, and the other teams said if you don’t put one more guy up there, we won’t help. Visco had to do a lot of work late on, he tried to help me save it.

“It’s been a good week. Hopefully I’ll have a good TT tomorrow. One minute is a lot to make up in 8km. I’ve worn yellow, and when I came into yesterday I didn’t expect that. It’s been a nice race, Friends Life have put a lot of effort into thiss, and Mick Bennett has produced one of the best Tour of Britain’s yet.”

Elsewhere An Post Chain Reaction rider Mark McNally sealed the SKODA King of the Mountains jersey, with a 21-point lead over double stage winner Matthias Brandle.  The Liverpudlian, who took the jersey in his home city on Stage One, still has to finish the London stages, but with no categorised SKODA King of the Mountains climbs, McNally is poised to keep the jersey for the entire week.

The destination of the YodelDirect Sprints Jersey, sponsored by parcel delivery company Yodel, will be decided in London, on lap five of the final circuit race, with just current wearer Sebastian Lander of BMC Racing and Dowsett in contention.  The Movistar Team rider is two points behind the Dane, with three points for the winner of the final YodelDirect Sprint.

The Friends Life Tour of Britain concludes in central London on Sunday, with a split stage including an 8.8 kilometre individual time trial before the traditional ten lap circuit race.
Great Britain’s Chris Lawless will get the time trial underway at 11:01, with riders heading off at one-minute intervals, including Steve Cummings at 11:52 and Mark Cavendish at 12:05, before the top ten riders go at two-minute intervals, led by Alex Dowsett at 12:39, with Friends Life Yellow Jersey Dylan Van Baarle last off at 12:57.

The full time trial start list is available here.

Highlights of Stage Seven are on ITV4 at 2000 on Saturday 13 September, with live coverage of Stage 8b and highlights of the Stage 8a individual time trial from 1500 on Sunday on ITV4. Full details of the television coverage of the Friends Life Tour of Britain, including British Eurosport’s live coverage, can be found here.

For full Stage Seven results, click here.

Stunning Alex Dowsett coup rewarded with Yellow Jersey

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Alex Dowsett grits his teeth for Yellow

 

Matthias Brandle of IAM Cycling chalked up his second straight stage win, but the story of the day was Movistar Team’s Alex Dowsett blowing the Friends Life 2014 Tour of Britain asunder with the ride of his life in one of the most dramatic ever stages of the modern day race.

A trio of Exeter winner Matthias Brandle, Alex Dowsett and Madison Genesis’ Tom Stewart rode in perfect unison for the best part of 160km to dominate the long stage from Bath to Hemel Hempsted, which many had expected to end in a sprint.

Through the rural lanes of Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire they poured on the power and the pace and cheered on by the biggest crowds of the week the trio prevailed to pull off one of the most stunning coups you will ever see.

At the start of the day Dowsett, in 21st position overall at 1 minute 25 seconds behind, was seemingly out of contention for the Friends Life General Classification honours, although there was every chance he would climb a fair few places in Sunday’s short time-trial which suits him perfectly.

The Essex rider, 25,  has looked strong all week and but for a double puncture when pressing hard in the break on Stage Four might well have featured much higher up the rankings before now.

Mark McNally on Kop Hill

Mark McNally on Kop Hill

Equally Brandle, in relaxed mode after winning in Exeter on Thursday and trailing the Friends Life Yellow Jersey of Michal Kwiatkowski by 2 minutes 35 seconds, felt able to try something spectacular and not count the cost should it fail. As for Stewart, the Yorkshire man featured strongly in the break on the Tumble stage on Tuesday and when he suddenly found himself in such elite company so early in the stage he just strapped in and hung on for dear life, buoyed no doubt by the local knowledge of team manager Roger Hammond.

Whether it was because the leaders were absorbed with marking each other, tired from an unexpectedly brutal week or were mindful of a very tough 227-kilometre run from Camberley to Brighton tomorrow, they allowed to go out way beyond what the peloton would normally allow such talented riders.

Five minutes, seven minutes, nine minutes and finally nine minutes 15 seconds at 82km from home. The lead grew and grew and by the time the peloton realised that the trio were not noticeably tiring it was too late. At which point there was a massive red alert and panic.

Omega Pharma Quick-Step blew themselves to pieces riding for Kwiatkowski with Mark Cavendish and Niki Terpstra burying themselves on the Chiltern climbs.  At one stage members of other teams were hand slinging the seemingly tireless Julien Vermote to try and get him to the front to reinforce the chase, which was a remarkable sight.

Team Sky were shorthanded but also sent Ben Swift up the front on a do or die mission to trying a claw back some of the time and eventually Bardiani CSF, the team of second place Edoardo Zardini, bent their backs. But it was all too late. The escape was well and truly away

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Alex Dowsett post race press conference

“I’m in the form of my life but that was the hardest day of my life,” admitted Dowsett afterwards. “It was into a headwind most of the day and once I got into the break I was actually a bit hacked with myself to be honest because I had always thought I might have a good time-trial on Sunday and I was leaving a lot out there on the road. I thought I thought I might have given too much.

“But then the gap went up to seven minutes and I thought, that’s getting quite big. Then it went to eight minutes, nine minutes, and finally topped out at a bit over nine minutes.  That’s when I really started digging in and a bit later I sort of made an agreement with Mathias that he could win the stage as it looked like there was a good chance of taking yellow.

“It was a risk I was willing to take. And he gave me absolute everything, I couldn’t have done it without him and Tom at Madison probably had one of the hardest days of his life, he gave everything he could and I’m grateful to him and Roger Hammond in the car for his advice with his local knowledge, telling us exactly what was coming up. I was very grateful for that.

“For the last 100-kilometres, I was more or less flat out. I was buckling in the last 5-kilometres and I was relying heavily on Matthias. Before the Commonwealths, I was doubting myself a lot. So this is more proof to me that I’m able to compete at this level.

“It was also great to see all my family at the finish, it was a complete surprise, I didn’t expect to see any of them until the finish in Brighton. It was some day.”

Dowsett now has the Friends Life Yellow Jersey and a 34 second lead over second placed Kwiatkowski and with the two riders probably fairly evenly matched on the time-trial – Dowsett might just be favourite to edge that one – a huge mount now depends on the monster Sussex stage finishing in Brighton, which features two Category One SKODA King of the Mountains climbs in the last 17-kilometres – Ditchling Beacon and the sharp ramp of Bear Road up to the racecourse.

Royal Crescent, Bath

Royal Crescent, Bath

Much will depend on how his team mates can react to the various attacks that will inevitably come but Movistar Team arrived at the Friends Life Tour of Britain determined to challenge for overall honours and have supported Dowsett with a versatile team – Giovanni Visconti, Pablo Lastras, Sylvester Szmyd, Ion Izaguirre and Enrique Sanz Unze – capable of mounting a strong defence of the Friends Life Yellow Jersey.

“I will give it everything I have got. Obviously Kwiatkowski is going like a train so I need to rest up as much as I can and give it my all tomorrow and in the time-trial. It’s a nice positon to be in though.”  

Saturday sees the penultimate stage of the Friends Life Tour of Britain, and the modern Tour’s first visit to Sussex, for a leg starting from Camberley, in Surrey Heath, through West and East Sussex before the finish on Brighton’s Maderia Drive.

Highlights of Stage Six are on ITV4 at 2000 on Friday 12 September, with live coverage resuming from 1300 on Saturday on ITV4, for Stage Seven from Camberley to Brighton.  Full details of the television coverage of the Friends Life Tour of Britain, including British Eurosport’s live coverage, can be found here.

For full Stage Six results, click here.

 

 

Wiggo & Cav’s Triumphant Homecoming – ToB Stage 8

Did you go? Were you there? In case you left the country for a couple of weeks, you would have struggled to avoid seeing that the Tour of Britain hit the streets of this great cycling nation, and even with the inevitable inclemency of the weather, it appeared to be a great success. Cycling Shorts were lucky enough to be invited to London by Jaguar to see how the final stage all panned out, and did we ever pick a good day to go…

The first thought that occurred, when we arrived for the Johnson Health Tech Westminster Grand Prix was how busy the circuit was, even at half ten on a Sunday morning. The sizeable crowd was treated to the spectacle of the pack trying to attack Hannah Barnes for the best part of an hour, but their efforts were fruitless, the national crit champion relentlessly driving the bunch to cover chase after chase, with a final, full-blooded effort by Lydia Boylan and Nicola Juniper failing to stick after putting a big chunk of time on the peloton. The pack was all together for the finale and there was only going to be one winner in the sprint to the line, Barnes taking the win to popular delight. Two observations occurred – firstly, even when you have a standout favourite like Barnes, the racing can still be fantastic. And secondly, if you have any questions over the popularity of women’s racing, put them to one side – this race was massively popular.

The next event was the IG Gentleman’s TT, over one lap of the full 8.8km course, where pairs consisting of a pro “pacer” and a celebrity “gentleman” teamed together with the gentleman’s time over the line being the one that counted. Honours went to Andrew Griffiths and Francis Jackson with a respectable 11:47, tonking second placed Olly Stephens and Alex Stephenson by 47 seconds, with Gavin Morton and Steve Carter Smith another 7 seconds further back in third. I’ll be honest with you – I thought it was a really cool concept, but with very few exceptions (Lee Dixon, Dermot Murnaghen, Ned Boulting), I didn’t know who the celebrities were, although that may say more about me than anything else…  A good idea, though – maybe next year get Boris and Ken to get involved, add a bit of local colour and create a budding sporting rivalry.

But the main event was always going to be the final stage of the Tour of Britain. On a pan-flat stage, no-one was likely to make a race-winning break big enough to take the gold jersey, but that didn’t mean it was a dull affair, Pete Williams and Angel Madrazo joining a six man break in a frenzied battle to take the points jersey, the Spaniard taking it to add to his mountains jersey when Williams was DQ’d from a sprint for some overly lively riding. Inevitably however, the pack hunted them down and despite a late and valiant dash for glory from Alex Dowsett, it was all about the sprint, and there was only ever going to be one winner there, Mark Cavendish rocketing to his third stage victory. With Sir Bradley following him safely home to seal the overall, Whitehall went nuts in celebration – which is not a phrase you’ll hear often!

It’s hard to see the tour in general and stage 8 in particular as anything other than an unparalleled success. Certainly, all day long the crowds were both full and vocally happy, whilst the results were what everyone wanted. But more than just being a showcase for the extraordinary talents of two of Britain’s brightest stars, riders who fly comparatively lower on the radar than Cav and Sir Brad also received rapturous welcomes, riders like Alex Dowsett, Dan Martin and Nairo Quintana. It was great to see that, not only were they recognised and their names known, people were genuinely happy to see them, regardless of nationality. A year on from the Olympics, it’s clear that cycling has as firm a place in the heart of the sporting nation as it has had for many years, and all the signs show that it’s here to stay. Happy days…

Huge thanks to Claire and all at Jaguar UK for their hospitality on a fantastic day #ToB2013 #ridelikeapro @JaguarUK

 

 

Eurosport documentary seeks subjects for ‘Race of Truth’ documentary

Sopkesmen Ltd Logo
 
Spokesmen Ltd, the UK based Media, PR and Television Production company responsible for TV coverage of the UCI Women’s Road World Cup, has been commissioned by Eurosport and Cycling Time Trials to produce a 30 minute documentary on the art, science and psychology of time trialling, to be aired on British Eurosport this summer.

Spokesmen, headed up by David Harmon, has joined forces with renowned Channel 4 documentary film maker Dan Edelstyn (How to Re-Establish a Vodka Empire, Subverting the City and No Good Deed goes Unpunished) and Executive Producer Michael Hutchinson to go in search of what makes time trialling the bedrock of Britain’s cycling success.

Taking the viewer inside the discipline of the professional rider will be time trial champion Alex Dowsett and we are now inviting other time triallists to be part of this innovative documentary.

We need another two subjects to be followed through the experience of their race of truth. Whether you’re entering your first club 10 or challenging for the yellow jersey of the Tour, time trialling is unique in its mental and physical demands.

We want to know what motivates you, why do you do it and what do you get out of it? What brings you back to the road again and again, what are the great highs and lows?

What’s important is that you love the sport, feel passionate about cycling – come rain, hail or whatever Britain throws at you – and that you are happy to be filmed to advocate time trailling in the UK.

If you would like to be considered as a subject for the film, Spokesmen would like to hear from you.

Send us a YouTube or Vimeo link or file of a self produced video of up to 2 minutes, that will give us a flavour of who you are and what time trialling means to you, not just as a rider but within your life. Submissions are particularly welcome from junior and veteran riders.

You must be available for filming for at least two days during May & early June. Videos need to be submitted by Friday 3 May by email to [email protected] The programme will air during the Tour de France on British Eurosport.

 

 

 

Alex Dowsett Interview

Alex riding Ster ZLM Toer - ©Copyright Kevin Kempf

Alex riding Ster ZLM Toer – ©Copyright Kevin Kempf

I caught up with new Movistar signing Alex Dowsett and he kindly answered a few questions.

 

Off-Season

What is a typical off-season for Alex Dowsett?

I’ll spend 3-5 weeks where the only bike I may look at is my mountain bike, it’s good to step away from it all to refresh the body and mind, during this period there’ll usually be a holiday of some sort and a bit more partying than usual. Then when it’s time to start training I’ll do one week lightly building up the hours then into the long base mileage, so 4-6 hour rides daily looking to get 25-30 hours a week. As the season draws nearer the hours drop down a little and intensity is added through intervals.

 

Is that fairly standard in terms of what other pro cyclists do?

Yes that’s a fairly bog standard off season, some guys might do work in the gym, I’ve been experimenting with it a little and I know the Scandinavians may do a lot of x-country skiing as that uses the same muscle groups.

 

Has your off-season this year been markedly different as you face your move to Movistar for 2013?

Only with adding in Gym work into my programme

 

Movistar

What was the main reason for your move to ride for Movistar next season?

Opportunities, Sky is a fantastic team but I realised very quickly that with there being so many brilliant GC riders there and the fact that experience counts for a lot when getting into the big races I needed to step away to gain this experience, Movistar is a fantastic outfit that has produced some great riders and promised to give me opportunities in the bigger races.

 

What will your main role be at Movistar and does that differ from your role at Team Sky?

It doesn’t differ too much, I can time trial well so that will be a big focus, I have GC aspirations in races like Eneco Tour and will be supported by the team in these and in the mountainous tours I will be a domestique and maybe go for individual time trial stages.

 

Have you noticed any great cultural differences in the running of Movistar so far in comparison with Team Sky?

There are a lot more similarities than I thought there would be, all the big cycling teams operate in a highly efficient way

 

As pro cycling teams are so cosmopolitan nowadays, is there any great language barrier to overcome in terms of Team Sky being ‘British’ and Movistar ‘Spanish’?

There is, the team is keen to learn English as that’s the way the sport is going but I do need to learn Spanish, I’m having 3 lessons a week, it’s hard to get my head round that a noun, i.e. something like a bike can be masculine or feminine and the verb has to change accordingly!

 

You were well known when riding for Team Sky that you often remained based in Essex. Does your move to Movistar affect that?

Nope, I’m an Essex boy through and through, I race best when I’m happy and I’m happy here in Essex. I do understand the values of training abroad so ahead of grand tours I will get myself into some mountains for sure.

 

2013 & the Future

After your excellent result in the World Championships Time Trial, was there an increase in interest from teams in acquiring your services for 2013?

Cycling is big business but a small World, it was common knowledge that Movistar were in for me, other teams approached us as well but we followed protocol by speaking with SKY then making a decision.

 

What is your main objective for 2013 and which races are you most looking forward to?

Doing a Grand tour and the classics initially, the rough plan is for me to do Roubaix and Flanders and then the Giro. I’d like to retain my National Time Trial title but it will be harder given that it’s being moved in line with the National RR so Wiggo and Froome might be there. I’d like to win a tour, something like Ster Electro, Eneco, Circuit de la Sarthe, basically a hard tour with minimal mountains and with a decent TT in it.

 

Alex Dowsett Austrailian Pursuit - ©Copyright Chris Dando @Cycling Shorts.

Alex Dowsett Austrailian Pursuit – ©Copyright Chris Dando @Cycling Shorts.

Could you see yourself ever consider crossing over to track cycling, perhaps for an Olympic Games?

Maybe, I was hitting fairly good numbers in 2010 training for European champs but I couldn’t get myself off the start line quick enough, I can see there being more chance that I’ll be on the road for Rio

 

If you could pick one race to win in your career, which would it be and why?

Olympic and World TT championships, I love my time trialling and that’s the ultimate win.

 

Yourself

What impact did riding for Trek-Livestrong have on your career, and how would you say it has helped you in terms of you career development?

The GB academy was great and prepared me for the Trek-Livestrong experience, I entered there as one of the most disciplined riders. The GB academy presented us to pro teams as the complete package.

I also learnt how to win races and the importance of enjoying what I’m doing.

 

Do you see yourself as solely a time-triallist specialist, a discipline in which you have obviously had a great deal of success?

No, it’s obviously a key ingredient to my success but I’ve won road races, I think I can be a solid all rounder. 

 

What would you say has been your career highlight so far?

8th in the World TT Championships

 

What is your favourite race to participate in as a rider?

I got a real kick out of the World Team Time trial championships, we didn’t do great but was a buzz nonetheless

 

Who are your best friends, or who do you talk to the most, in the peloton?

Mostly the lads my age, Ben King, Jesse Sergent, Taylor Phinney, Michael Matthews etc. We’re all going through roughly the same thing so we can relate to each other a lot.

 

What is your favourite place in the world to ride a bike?

I loved training in Switzerland, just getting lost in the hills, I want to head back this summer with a Mountain bike though! I have a ride at home I enjoy, its simply blue egg (my regular café) and back, it’s flat quiet roads and 2 hours total, I like having somewhere to aim for on a ride.

 

Could you ever see yourself doing a ‘Wiggo’ and going from being an outstanding rider against the clock to being a Grand Tour contender?

Yes.

For more on Alex check out Anna’s chat with Alex by clicking here.

 

 

 

 

 

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