Place 29 - Alex Dowsett
Type of Rider: Time Trialist
Major success: European Under 23 Time Trail Champion 2010
Team/Club 2010: Trek – Livestrong
Team 2011: Sky (?)
Best Mock List rank: new
The statement that Alex Dowsett is blood-deep into the sport isn’t far from the truth: Dowsett was diagnosed with Haemophilia, his blood clots very slowly or not at all in case of injuries. Cycling accidents for the Brit therefore are more dangerous than for others. No wonder that originally Dowsett turned to water sports and that swimming formed the base for his physical fitness. When he was expressing his intention to do cycling, a doctor advised him to do chess instead or to learn an instrument.
Dowsett nonetheless succeeded and grew to be one of the leading Junior riders on national level: he won the overall classification of the national series, several times he was British champion in the Time Trial, took part in European and World Championships with his national team on the road and on the track and crowned his achievements on Junior level with an European Champion’s title in the team pursuit in 2006.
In the program for the Olympic Games in London 2012 from British Cycling, Dowsett was part of several talent teams, Olympic aid programmes and the Olympic Academy and so was helped to adjust to the Under 23 level. From his home Essex he moved to live and train in Tuscany, to race with riders like Peter Kennaugh and Ben Swift in Italian races. In the past two years he won the British title in Time Trialing and was nominated for the World championships. In Varese he still was a little bit off, but in Mendrisio he ranked 7th and only had a gap of 16 seconds to third place.
Even before the World Championships Dowsett agreed with British continental team Rapha-Condor to ride his last Under 23 year with them, unless a bigger team would want him. Trek – Livestrong, managed by Axel Merckx and founded by Lance Armstrong, may not be at a higher level, but without a doubt is one of the best talent teams in the world – so Dowsett agreed to ride with them. He had to move to Colorado, take part in RadioShack-trainingcamps (where Dowsett noticed a certain seven time tour winner at his wheel), got rider discounts for RadioShack shopping and a mixed European/American racing programme.
With youthful enthusiasm the Brit stormed into the winning break at the fourth stage of the Oman tour, that took the lead from Edvald Boasson Hagen when he stopped for anature break, finishing fourth on the stage, only to concede massive amounts of time on the next day. With a fourth place at the prologue of the Olympia’s tour (2.2) that was dominated by teammate Taylor Phinney, Dowsett began his form building for the summer. His first big goal was the European Championships in Ankara.
26 kilometres had to be covered on the hot soil of Anatolia, but Dowsett wasn’t fazed at all: safely he crowned himself European Champion and was follower of Marcel Kittel in this role. No time for a rest: on Friday the European Championship’s Time Trail and on Tuesday already he had to be at the start of the prologue of the Cascade Classic in the northwest-most part of the USA. But no trace of jetlag: only by 0,065 seconds he conceded victory to Jesse Sergent. On the final stage of the tour he got his victory: in the Awbrey Butte Circuit Race Dowsett moved ahead on the descent to the finish and won. Similar happenings just a few weeks later: at the Tour of Utah it is Phinney again who is the only one faster than Alex Dowsett in the prologue. But on the next day the Brit attacked, finished second behind breakaway companion David Tanner and took the leader’s jersey – if only just for one day. He had to give away this jersey to the likes of Leipheimer and Mancebo in the mountains. But it doesn’t have to stay like this.
The Tour de l’Avenir (2.NC) was a week of mixed feelings for Dowsett. A great second place in the prolog satisfied him very much, as he – again – was only beaten by Phinney. And that is, according to himself, absolutely no shame. Two days later Dowsett even picked up the race lead in the most important Under 23 event from the crashing Phinney. As expected the mountainous second half of the race wasn't Dowsetts cup of tea.
Latest rumours are that Dowsett will ride for Team Sky in 2011, not unexpectedly. So also his second big goal of the season – a pro contract – is fulfilled. That leaves only a third big aim: die World Champion title in the Time Trial Under 23 in Melbourne. Maybe his last chance to beat Phinney at last. The form is there: one week after the Avenir Dowsett won a national time trial event in GB - as the fifth Brit who has ridden the 25 miles in less than 47 minutes.
Without doubt Dowsett will enrich the Pro scene: with his commitment to the haemophile society, with his regular blogs about life as a pro rider with this illness on bloodsweatandtyres.blogspot.com , and his open-mindedness in regards to this ailment.
nominated by gardener, written by gardener, translated by bugno