Feature Interview – Alex Dowsett


Gordon Wiseman talks to Alex Dowsett about his season in Europe so far and his fourth in the Tirreno – Adriatico time trial

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Feature Interview – Alex Dowsett
from – Gordon Wiseman

Maldon born Alex Dowsett (Movistar Team) gave his 2016 racing season a welcome boost last Tuesday setting fourth fastest time in the final stage of the 7 stage Tirreno – Adriatico, covering the 10.1km time trial course just 15 seconds behind stage winner – and four time World Time Trial champion – Fabian Cancellara.


In what will the final year’s racing for the Swiss master, Cancellara is determined to finish his career at the top of his game and last weeks’ time trial win, on top of his recent win in the one day Strade Bianche, show that he’s already got top form making Dowsett’s result even sweeter.

Yet despite that, the 27 year old Essex man showed that he’s got higher goals in 2016: “I’m pleased with that but disappointed at the same time. I was just two seconds away from setting second fastest time and I was on the same second as Tony Martin who finished third. Martin and Cancellara have won 7 World Time Trial championships between them so I can get huge satisfaction from that result. Even if I did just miss out on UCI points”.

It was a good race all round for Dowsett as he and his team-mates opened ‘the race between the seas’ setting 10th quickest time in the opening 22.7km team time trial: “We were lacking a bit of firepower with Adriano Malori and Jonathan Castroviejo still out following their serious early season crashes” – Castroviejo’s happening after a race had finished in a freak collision with a spectator.

“But my numbers after the stage showed I pulled 12 minutes at over 60kph, that meant in my spells at the front of the team I was putting out over 500 watts of power so, for me, I think this was my best team effort ever, I was really pleased with that”.



Alex has been feeling the same sensations in his legs in other races so far this year as well. After completing two legs of the four race Mallorca Challenge Dowsett flew to the Tour of Dubai – “that was a good race and I was able to help team sprinter Juanjo Lobato take his stage win. I’d love to go back to Dubai as a tourist one year”.

Next stop was the Volta ao Algarve where Alex felt his climbing form showed great improvement: “My time trial wasn’t as good as I might have hoped but then I hadn’t touched my time trial bike over the whole of the winter, but on the hilly stage I was feeling really good.

“In other years I knew I was going to be dropped as soon as the road went upwards and so would allow myself to drift to the back of the race to finish in the ‘grupetto’ but in the Algarve I was able to stay in the climbers bunch for much longer and was then able to decide when I allowed myself to drop off. That was very pleasing”.

Overall Alex has been very pleased with his winter’s training. “I had a really good winter and was showing consistent numbers throughout so at the start of the racing year I was very pleased with where I was. I’ve changed coach and now use one of the team’s own coaches and what we’ve been doing together is really working.

“I spent a lot of time away training over the winter and, although staying in hotels on your own isn’t fun, I like the actual training on my own. I found a great base at Trisports in Lanzarote and there was a good crowd there but I could still do the training I wanted”.


Alex was also very busy off the bike over the winter, establishing his own cycling concierge company – cyclism.com – who provide a whole range of services, advice and support for cyclists at all levels. “I know what I expect from my team racing at World Tour level and that’s what we want to provide as a company. Out on the road I see new and experienced riders making the most elementary mistakes. At cyclism.com we want to help riders overcome or avoid those sort of mistakes”.

In 2015 Dowsett’s focus was on the Hour Record which he smashed in Manchester on 2 May setting a new record distance of 52.937kms. And although Sir Bradley Wiggins went on to better that distance a few weeks later, Alex is still proud of his achievement.

“Setting a new Hour record was a huge achievement. But in terms of the rest of my season it took a huge toil but now in 2016 I’m again feeling like a ‘proper’ road rider again and I’m really enjoying my cycling. Obviously the great numbers I’m putting out help that mindset but I still feel, I know there’s still more to come. I’m even happier to do those dreaded turbo sessions again!”

2016 will see Alex return to the Giro d’Italia where he recorded a maiden Grand Tour stage win in 2013 winning the 8th stage time trial. “There’s three time trial stages in this year’s Giro and although I can really discount one of those for me as it’s all uphill, I’d like to think I can get close to if not repeat my success of 2013 in one of the other two TTs.

“Certainly my focus, training and racing until the start of the Giro in May will be on getting myself to the start line in top condition. I’ll be there to help team leader Alejandro Valverde who’s going for the overall win, but in the TTs, that’s where I’ll get my chances”.

And then later in the summer there’s a little thing of the Rio Games to think about. “Yes, of course Rio plays into my plans but I know it’ll be difficult. Team GB has only one spot for the TT and everyone expects Chris Froome to get that coming straight off the Tour. But if I can do something good in the Giro then that’ll give the selectors something to think about. I certainly won’t be giving in to the dream of riding in Rio until the final decisions are made”.




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