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“The Tour of Britain has given me great confidence in the fact that I am actually capable of winning these races. I need to work a bit harder, I think - work on my climbing, and ensure that I don’t get into the jersey [only to l...

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ALEX DOWSETT

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08.11.2014 @ 12:12 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Alex Dowsett has had a fantastic season, winning Commonwealth Games Gold in the TT in Glasgow, as well as winning the TT in the Circuit de la Sarthe and showing just how aggressive he can be at the Tour of Britain, plus he smashed the British 10-mile TT record.

 

So the man from Essex would agree that he has had a good season surely. No: “It’s a funny one,” he says. “It’s difficult to know how to judge it.”

 

Dowsett also takes a view on his Gold medal that many people wouldn’t expect, saying he was more pleased with his Delhi silver ride in 2010 than his ride to take Gold from Rohan Dennis in Glasgow this summer.

 

“I would say I was happier with my Delhi silver medal than my Glasgow gold medal.” How so? Dowsett explains to Roleur: “You go in to that not expecting anything. If you go into a race and you already have a silver medal, you’re perfectly capable of winning, and you’ve trained for the win, it comes as a relief. It’s a ‘job done’ mentality.”

 

Dowsett seems to ride best and put on his most daring performances when he is angry or feels hard done by. He did so in the Tour of Britain, but says this is not the first time he has done that before: “It’s been like that right from the start,” he concedes, with a knowing half-smile. “The Junior Tour of Wales, when I won that, it was because of some injustice that had happened the day before.”

 

Dowsett was angry at the Tour of Britain, just as he was angry before the Commonwealth Games as his Movistar team left him out of the Tour de France team, despite it starting on home soil. He went and took Gold as a result.

 

After suffering a double puncture on stage four of his home tour, Dowsett was angry. Two days later he engineered a three-man break with IAM’s soon to be Hour Record holder Matthias Brandle and local rider Tom Stewart of Madison-Genesis over 150km, which gave Brandle his second stage of the race and Dowsett the leaders jersey.

 

“Angry isn’t the right…” he tails off, smiling broadly. “It was more because I couldn’t say ‘pissed off’ on national television for fear of my mum listening to it.”

 

“When something’s really annoyed me, like at the Tour of Britain,” he continues, “that double puncture and the nonsense that surrounded it just got me really geed up to go and do it again. I saw a stage win just taken away from me there. Things like that get me fired up."

 

Dowsett may have lost the jersey the next day on Ditchling Beacon when he and teammate Giovanni Visconti couldn’t prevent a group going up the road that contained eventual winner Dylan van Baarle of Garmin-Sharp.

 

“I had the whole, ‘wow, that just happened’ feeling on the breakaway day when I got into yellow. And there was a different, ‘wow, that just happened’ feeling up Ditchling Beacon. To have crowds there, I’ve never known…” he tails off as he relives the moment. “The day I was in yellow, I didn’t really hear Wiggo’s name chanted once; it all seemed to be for me, whereas on the previous day, I was in a break without Wiggo and people were still cheering for Wiggo. It was pretty surreal to have that turnaround as well.”

 

When asked what 2015 has in store for Dowsett, he answered with two words: “The Tour”. And as for the shorter one-week stage races that contain a time trial in the WorldTour, Dowsett now says his Tour of Britain performance has shown him he can excel in those.

 

“The Tour of Britain has given me great confidence in the fact that I am actually capable of winning these races,” he says. “I need to work a bit harder, I think - work on my climbing, and ensure that I don’t get into the jersey [only to lose it]. I’ve progressed well. Last year, I held a jersey. This year, I’ve held two yellow jerseys, but lost them as quickly as I’ve got them. Next year, I know what I need to do, where I need to improve to get those jerseys and to hold onto them.”

 

Dowsett has started training for 2015 already but says his big work is coming soon, with weeks on the bike containing up to 35 hours of hard riding to ensure he has a good base to excel in 2015.

 

One thing is for sure: Alex Dowsett means business in 2015, so don’t make him angry.

 

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