After narrowly missing out on selection for Team GB at the World Road Race Championships at Copenhagen in September, Team Sky rider Alex Dowsett is hopeful that a step up in distance will result in him gaining a spot on the Great Britain team for next summer’s Olympic Games in London. With the bonus of five team places for the Olympic road race up for grabs, Dowsett is looking to force his way into the selectors’ thoughts, as he told Cyclingnews when he helped to launch the new Gatorade G Series in London on Tuesday.
“It’s brilliant news that Great Britain has been recognised as one of the world’s leading cycling nations with the announcement of the five spots on the Olympic road race team,” he said. “It will give us the best chance possible of achieving good results in both the time trial and the road race. I think we’ll produce the strongest possible team for the road race and hopefully we can deliver Mark Cavendish to the line and the gold medal.
“Making the team will be tough. There’s a lot of competition and a lot of good riders out there. It was a bit of a blow for me to miss out on the Worlds but I understood the reasoning behind it and there’ll be plenty of opportunities for me to prove that I’m up to it in the run-up to the Olympics.”
Dowsett feels that increasing his mileage over the winter and taking part in some races over a longer distance early next season will make the selectors take notice of him and put him in the picture for one of the berths on the Olympic team.
“One of the main reasons why I didn’t go to the Worlds was that it’s a longer race than what I’ve been used to,” he said. “I’ve mainly been racing between 160-200km and the Worlds is a 266km race. So it wasn’t a slight on my fitness, commitment or form – more that it would have been a risk to take me as I hadn’t really proved myself over that longer distance.
“Next year I’ve been pencilled in to ride the Giro and one or two of the early classics. Those races should give me the opportunity to prove that I can handle the longer distance. Upping the training mileage over the winter is also a crucial element. Plus I’ll be starting early at the Tour Down Under.”
Alex Dowsett was speaking at the launch of the Gatorade G Series Pro range, a new series of sports performance products that fuel athletes before, during and after workout, practice or competition. Available to buy in stores from November 20th, follow @GatoradeUK for more information.