Talkingshop: British TT Champion Alex Dowsett

VeloUK talks to Alex Dowsett who successfully defended his title last Sunday in the British Time Trial Championship where he was head and shoulders over his rivals on a tough course.

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Alex is a ‘tester’ through and through, old school and said afterwards “it was a nice event. At the end there was someone giving out a free cup of tea – it’s things like that which makes British time trialling what it is.”

2012 hasn’t been a great year for Alex after breaking his elbow in a crash at the Three Days of West Flanders but he is pleased to be getting back on track, winning the title and getting back to where he was during 2011.

Alex powers his way to the British title on Sunday.

Like most VeloUK spoke to, Alex said it was a tough course and even said to the organisers he’d like an easier course next year. What Alex didn’t know, and nor did we, is that British Cycling have apparently ‘taken’ control of the British Time Trial Championship away from the CTT for 2013 which has had a mixed reaction from fans.

Talking about the course for 2012 though, Alex explained “it was slower than I thought it was going to be. The hill took it out of you a fair bit but even on the tailwind leg on the rough roads, it sapped your speed and the fast bits weren’t as fast as they should be so you were still pushing to try and get it over 50k an hour. It was a fairly rough road and there was a pretty brutal climb in it where I had to go down to the little ring and the 25 sprocket,” he said.

Alex though came to the race very well prepared. “I had my girlfriend and others around the course with spare wheels and if I had run into trouble, I would only have had to ride three or four miles before I reached either my dad, my mum or girlfriend before I got either a set of wheels or a bike.”

That level of preparation is so important as riders like Espoirs favourite Joe Perrett found out to their cost when they punctured, ending their race.

When VeloUK asked Alex if he was disappointed at the no shows of many contenders, Alex replied, “any other race I would say yes but this one gives me the stripes for the year so I’d already said to my dad that if no-one turns up, I’d be a happy boy.”

Top 3 in the British TT Champs, Matt Clinton, Alex Dowsett and Doug Dewey.

“It is similar to last year in that the Olympic time trial champion (Wiggins) isn’t here and Chris Froome and Dave Millar could cause me some bother but I’d like to think that I am in that top four or five in Britain for time trialling at the moment.”

“I am good but after the year I have had, I have finished time trials thinking I am good but not as good as I want to be. This year was good to win the champs because it’s salvaged something from the year but as far I am concerned, whilst I hope to do the World championships (Alex is in the long list for the TT), the rest of the year has been a complete a right off for me and I can’t wait to start afresh next year.”

“I want to carry on improving, chipping away at establishing myself well and truly in the pro ranks. I think I showed last year I was capable of winning time trials in the pro ranks and I know I am still capable of doing that and so I want to get that back and build on what I had last year. I have learnt a hell of lot this year and want to take that and put it into next year for sure.”

Alex has always been good at time trials and was in the GB Academy for a few years on the strength of that when many of his teammates were track based. Asked if it’s a valuable skill to have as a pro, he says “For sure it is a very valuable skill to have in the pro ranks because you get a lot of races that are decided in the time trial and so if you can win time trials, you can win stage races.”

“I’m lucky in that you can either be a climber, sprinter or time trialist or you’re a domestique and as much as I enjoy fulfilling a domestique’s role like helping Eddy (Boassan-Hagen) win Plouay was really satisfying, it is also good to get results yourself. So it’s a very valuable tool to have.”

Close up of his gearing as he came past at speed on one of the straight sections on the course.

The final section of the course and Dowsett shows ‘bigpower’ to run away with the win in the Mens event.

Alex is currently making his way to Canada for races there, the GP de Quebec and GP de Montreal for Team Sky.


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