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“If I was team boss I wouldn’t have taken me given the state I was in. But it was still a hammer blow. It was a weird morning when I woke up to a message from the boss explaining his reasons for not taking me," Dowsett reca...

Photo: Sirotti




11.11.2014 @ 04:36 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Alex Dowsett emphasized on many occasions that a disappointment after missing the Tour de France selection helped him to bounce back at the Commonwealth Games ITT and the Tour of Britain. Reflecting on his 2014 season the Movistar rider admitted, however, that he is still yet to fully recover after receiving such a huge blow.


“Everything was going according to plan up until the Tour de Suisse,” he said, according to SkySports. “I picked up a cold on the first day. In hindsight I probably should have pulled out then, recovered quickly and made sure I was fine for the Tour de France, but I thought, 'If I pull out the team is probably not going to take me to the Tour'.”


Dowsett revealed that a crucial decision made by the Spanish team was partially forced by his wrong judgment at the Tour at the Tour de Suisse. The 26-year old Briton recalled the morning when he learned the news and admitted that missing the Tour de France was especially difficult this year as the event kicked off on his home soil.


“I never held it against my team,” Dowsett, 26, adds. “If I was team boss I wouldn’t have taken me given the state I was in. But it was still a hammer blow. It was a weird morning when I woke up to a message from the boss explaining his reasons for not taking me.


“I just went straight out on my bike. There was nowhere I wanted to be more than out on my bike on my own. I actually bumped into Cav [Mark Cavendish] and Tao [Geoghegan Hart], who had both read Twitter in the morning and had seen the Movistar line-up, and they both gave me a hug, which was nice.”


“It was a pretty horrible day for the whole family,” Dowsett explains. “My dad went to watch it, but in hindsight, he probably wishes he hadn’t.


“I went to the British Grand Prix on the Saturday and the Sunday. That meant I could stay away from the Tour, but I couldn’t avoid it on the Monday. The race was all over the papers, all over the media – you couldn’t get away from it. I ended up going around to my mate’s house and looked at cars.”


As a small consolation prize, a frustration after not being selected for the Tour de France let Dowsett shine in the Commonwealth individual time trial, which he won ahead of talented Rohan Dennis (BMC).


“That was one of my career highlights, right there,” he proudly proclaims. “When I got the negative split I was wondering if my plan was starting to falter, but the last section suited me and I wanted to leave a bit of energy left in the tank for it, and it came good at the end."


Even though the 26-year old time trialist called his appearance at the Tour of Britain “an emotional rollercoaster”, in the end he was pleased with his performance on a home ground, celebrated with a short stint in the yellow jersey.


“The Tour of Britain was an emotional rollercoaster,” he says. “I’m happy with what I achieved at that race. I was obviously disappointed not to be able to hold on to the yellow jersey and I still stay up at night thinking about what I could have done differently.


"Unfortunately I had given so much getting the yellow jersey that the following day, I needed a nice flat sprint day, but it was far from that. But what it has given me is a lot of confidence. I know I need to work on my climbing, but it has given me the belief that I can win those kinds of races.”


Despite several setbacks he suffered in 2014, Dowsett had had no doubts about staying at Movistar after the Spanish team agreed to offer him a three-year contract extension. Claiming to perform better without additional pressure, the 26-year old Briton hopes to improve in his recently obtained results next year. And obviously, to line-up at the start of the tour de France.


“It’s quite unprecedented in cycling to have a three-year contract,” he explains. “I was quite adamant that I wanted three years because, firstly, I was happy at Movistar and didn’t want to go anywhere else, and secondly, I perform well when I’m not under pressure to perform.”


“It’s a pity there isn’t a long time trial in next year's Tour, but it’s a route where my team will require riders like myself and [Adriano] Malori to ensure we are competitive in the team time trial.


“The other goal is winning races like the Tour of Britain. Hopefully it will be a good year.”



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