Alex Dowsett will ride as Great Britain’s only representative in tomorrow’s Worlds time trial after Chris Froome pulled out of the event to concentrate on the road race. Dowsett, who rode as part of Sky’s team time trial squad, will also compete in Sunday’s road race but has set his sights on a top ten finish in Wednesday’s individual test.
“There’s the pressure of being the only Brit and knowing our time trial record this year has been but there’s no pressure put on by the team though, both trade and national, just the pressure that I put on myself. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.” Dowsett told Cyclingnews.
The 23-year-old has endured a difficult season. After sustaining a broken elbow earlier in the year, he battled back to retain his national time trial title but in recent weeks he has been raced in one-day races, leaving him somewhat uncertain as to his form ahead of Wednesday’s race.
“It hasn’t been an ideal season for me but the team time trial went well for me personally. I felt pretty strong so was pleased,” he said.
“I’m not really sure where I stand form wise. I’ve been doing a lot of the single day races, like the two in Canada, Hamburg and GP Plouay but it’s quite difficult to gauge where you are based of them. At the national time trial, which went well for me, I wasn’t racing anyone I knew so there wasn’t any markers but there are a lot of riders now here. I’d be happy with a top ten.”
Froome isn’t the only pre-race favourite to drop out. Bradley Wiggins ruled himself out of the race weeks ago, while Fabian Cancellara has already brought the curtain down on his race season. It leaves Tony Martin, Alberto Contador, Taylor Phinney and Luis Leon Sanchez as the current favourites, but while Dowsett is realistic about his own chances, he still believes a top 10 finish is achievable.
“I’m expecting Tony Martin to pull something silly like three minutes out of me but compared to guys like Phinney and Durbridge, the guys I’ve grown up, if I’m near then I’ll be content.”
“It’s Tony Martin’s race to lose but certainly it would be nice to top ten. I’m going to go out there and do the best ride I can and see what happens. The course suits me; I was comfortable on the climbs in the team time trial. A lot is going to depend on the pick up of pace just after the climbs though.”