Alex Dowsett will target time trials and prologues in his first season with Team Sky in 2011 but aims to gain experience in other fields, with the Tour of Romandie and Amgen Tour of California on his race schedule.
Dowsett, 22, signed for Team Sky after an impressive season in the U23 ranks with Trek-Livestrong. He won the European time trial championships, a stage in the Cascade Classic and the Chrono des Nations. He also took second at the Commonwealth Games time trial and in the prologue at the Tour of Utah and Tour de l’Avenir.
Now based back in the UK and already training for 2011, Dowsett spent several days meet his new Team Sky teammates at a recent team get-together in Windsor, England.
“It was great. I learnt all about my year coming up and was given with my race programme. It’s was pretty over whelming meeting all the guys, to be honest. The set up is incredible and the there’s no stone left unturned,” Dowsett told Cyclingnews.
“There are so many experienced guys, from Bobby Julich to Kurt-Asle Arvesen. There’s so much for me to learn.”
Programme packed with time trials and leadout work
Dowsett’s race programme includes the Amgen Tour of California, where Team Sky will look to defend Michael Rogers’ 2010 crown, and the Tour of Romandie in Switzerland.
“It’s very much a neo pro programme but with a strong emphasis on time trialing,” Dowsett said.
“I’ve got eight time trials before the end of June in stage races. That’s great to pick up where I’ve left off from this year and so I’ll aim to try and improve even more.”
Despite a strong emphasis on racing against the clock, Dowsett is unwilling to be pigeon-holed and will look to broaden and improve in other areas. This year he played a fundamental role in leading out Taylor Phinney in sprints. In 2011 the two will be on rival teams and Dowsett hopes to help Ben Swift, Greg Henderson and Edvald Boasson Hagen win sprints.
“I definitely want to move my time trialling forward. It’s a strength of mine but I want to improve across the board. I don’t just want to be a prologue or time trialist. An aspect to my racing that people don’t know about is that I’ve been a leadout man for Taylor Phinney and he hasn’t won a bunch sprint this year without me dropping him off with 200 meters to go. I could work my way into a role like that in the team.”
After racing at last weekend’s Revolution 30 track meeting in Manchester Dowsett will continue his training in the UK before heading to Sky’s first training camp at the end of December in Mallorca, Spain.