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Two weeks after he beat the Hour Record, Dowsett took a big win on the road when he beat Machado by just a single second to win the Bayern Rundfahrt time trial; the Brit is also the new leader of the race

Photo: Sirotti

ALEX DOWSETT

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BAYERN-RUNDFAHRT 

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MOVISTAR TEAM

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TIAGO MACHADO

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16.05.2015 @ 15:41 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Two weeks after he beat Rohan Dennis’ hour record, Alex Dowsett (Movistar) confirmed his greta condition when he won today’s time trial in the Bayern Rundfahrt. In a hugely exciting finish, he beat Tiago Machado (Katusha) by just a single second to take both the stage victory and the overall lead on the eve of the final sprint stage.

 

The 2015 season has been a rollercoaster for Alex Dowsett. After he announced his intentions to set a new Hour Record in February, he broke his collarbone in a training ride and so had to postpone his plans.

 

Two weeks ago he had recovered well and finally made his big attempt. It all came together for the strong Brit who beat Rohan Dennis’ mark to achieve one of the greatest feats of his career.

 

Dowsett is now back on the road and his first big goal was to use his good condition in the Bayern Rundfahrt which is usually decided in the time trial. Going into today’s race against the clock, the Brit was in the perfect position as he had finished in the main field in the first three road stages and even picked up two important bonus seconds.

 

Today he proved that his performance in Manchester was no fluke as he lived up to his status as pre-race favourite by winning the 26.1km time trial in Hassfurt. However, it was no mean feat for the Brit as he was up against fierce competition.

 

Another pre-race favourite Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18) had put himself in a great position when he had been the first to break the 32-minute barrier and looked poised to take the win. However, he was beaten by Tiago Machado (Katusha) who was 14 seconds faster.

 

As the final riders were mostly sprinters, only Dowsett was expected to challenge the Portuguese in the battle for the win and it turned out to be a nail-biting finale. After the Brit had been a few seconds faster at the intermediate check, he lost some ground in the finale but managed to take the win by just 1 second.

 

As expected the many sprinters could do nothing to challenge Dowsett who could step onto the podium as the stage winner. Race leader Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18) lost more than 3 minutes and so Dowsett also takes the overall lead.

 

He goes into the final stage with a 2-second advantage over Machado and unless disaster strikes, he will win the race overall. The final stage has a tough climb in the first 20km but otherwise it is a flat affair that ends with several laps on a flat circuit in Nürnberg where the sprinters are expected to battle it out.

 

A rolling course

After three days for the sprinters, it was time for the big GC day in the Bayern Rundfahrt which has often been decided in the time trial. This year’s course was 26.1km long and started and finished in Hassfurt. It included several rolling hills but also had flat stretches.

 

The first rider down the ramp was Matthias Schnapka (Bike Aid) but it was Kersten Thiele who set an early best time with 22.03. Yannick Mayer slotted into second.

 

De Vries takes the lead

Domenic Weinstein (Rad-Net) took the lead with a time of 32.47 but as the WorldTour riders started to hit the course, he lost his spot in the hot seat. It was Vladimir Isaychev (Katusha) who managed to relegate Weinstein from the top position.

 

Berden de Vries (Roompot) did even better as he stopped the clock in 32.24. He got a scare when Rasmus Quaade (Cult) was faster than him at the intermediate check but the Dane could only manage third at the finish.

 

Barta moves into the hot seat

Javier Moreno (Movistar) did well to slot into second but it was young Nils Politt (Stölting) who took all the attention when he stopped the clock in 32.04 to go 20 seconds faster than De Vries. Lawrence Warbasse (IAM) got close with a time of 32-18 which was enough to move into seconds.

 

Politt knew that his time in the hot seat was about to come to an end when one of the pre-race favourites Jan Barta (Bora-Argon 18) set the best intermediate time. He maintained the speed and stopped the clock in 31.49 to take the lead.

 

Best time for Dowsett

Dylan van Baarle (Cannondale) confirmed his great talent by slotting into second with a time of 32.02 but it was Tiago Machado (Katusha) who made Barta nervous. The Portuguese had set the best intermediate time and he maintained the speed to stop the clock in 31.34 and move into the hot seat.

 

However, the Portuguese didn’t get much time in the hot seat as Alex Dowsett (Movistar) had already been faster at the intermediate check. In a nail-biting finish, the Brit crossed the line in a time that was just one second faster than Machado’s.

 

The sprinters are off the pace

Jasha Sütterlin (Movistar) was the big crowd favourite but it was to be for the German whose time of 32.27 was only good enough for 8th. Jack Bauer (Cannondale) was slightly better to move into seventh.

 

It was now left to wait for the sprinters to finish their rides and they were all far off the pace. Enrique Sanz (Movistar) slotted into 48th before John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) took 55th. Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Sam Bennett were both even slower and so Dowsett could step onto the podium as the stage winner.

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