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‘I had to move to altitude to keep up’ says Dowsett

Peter Stuart
5 Jul 2019

Alex Dowsett fancies his chances in a TT-heavy Tour de France, but realises the competition is strong

Riding in his second ever Tour de France, this year’s three time trial stages could favour recently crowned British time trial champion Alex Dowsett, but he considers the standard higher than ever

‘I moved to altitude just to try to keep up with cycling,’ says Dowsett. ‘I got rolled by Rohan Dennis by five and a half minutes last year at the World Championships. It wasn't a great ride for me but it wasn’t that bad.

‘I’m not for a minute saying that I would have beat him last year, or even in current form,’ he adds. ‘But I’m better than being five and a half minutes back.’ 

Dowsett has been focussing on his TT form recently, winning the British National Championships Time Trial little over a week ago. He also confesses to being frustrated to have missed a club 10-mile TT in the UK on Tuesday. 

‘Annoyingly I was going to do a club 10 on Tuesday night. I just missed it, the annual club 10,’ he says. ‘That’s where I started so I always like to go back and race along with the club guys whenever I can.’

While Dowsett is optimistic about his prospects in the time trial in the individual time trial on Stage 13 of the Tour, he admits that the strength in depth of his rivals is unprecedented this year. 

‘You can just look around and see everyone is seriously good. No-one is here for free. Everyone is in great form, and really lean. There’s a lot baggy T-shirts,’ he says.

Team Time Trial

The first opportunity for Dowsett to show his time trial form will be Sunday’s TTT, for which Katusha-Alpecin should show strong form.

‘I like the TTT. When you’re going well they're the best thing in the world, when you’re going badly they are the worst thing in the world!’ laughs Dowsett.

‘We have a strong team here. Trying to keep Nils Politt on a leash, because he’s gonna rain out some serious numbers. But I think we’ll do well.’

For the overall GC, Dowsett believes the race could be relatively open, and a great opportunity for a historic French win. ‘For Romain Bardet this could be a good year for him,’ says Dowsett. ‘I don’t know if I want to back Bardet over G. Both would be very cool winners.’