Dowsett: I'm not favourite
Team Sky’s Alex Dowsett has moved quickly to distance himself from the Tour of Britain favourites tag – insisting he is one of a host of riders who could lift the title in September.
With the announcement that the final day of the eight-day British tour will contain a 10km time trial Dowsett, along with Team Sky teammates Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas, has been tipped to be among the frontrunners in the capital.
The 22-year-old has sprung to prominence in the last 12 months – winning gold at the U23 European Time Trial Championships in Turkey before bursting onto the senior time trial scene with silver at October’s Commonwealth Games in India.
And his successes in an international – GB and England – jersey were not isolated high points. Dowsett spent last season in Lance Armstrong's Trek-Livestrong Under 23 team and also picked up podium finishes at the Tour of Utah, Tour de l'Avenir and Cascade Cycling Classic.
Such heroics would already have put Dowsett as one of the contenders for home-soil glory at this year’s Tour of Britain but with the organisers’ helping hand the Essex youngster is now being heavily tipped to be in the hunt when the peleton reaches the capital.
With his proven time trialling ability Dowsett, and fellow TT specialists Wiggins and Thomas, could gain a significant advantage on the final day, which also features a 80km criterium, and be in the hunt for the general classification crown.
But while admitting the organisers’ intervention has prompted Dowsett to raise a smile, the Team Sky rider insists he doesn’t hold all the aces.
“There are seven stages to get through before we hit the time trial so I’ll probably take the same attitude I have taken in to every race so far with a time trial in,” said Dowsett.
“And that is to think about it once I am done with stage seven because there are going to be good opportunities for the team to get a good overall result and I want to be part of that.
“I definitely welcomed the change though when I heard about it. When I heard I had a grin from ear to ear because it’s another opportunity for me to show that I want to be the one that goes to the Olympics next year to do the time trial.”