Dowsett says the wind was the biggest problem in the intense effort
The Movistar team finished second behind Omega Pharma-QuickStep at the Tirreno-Adriatico team time trial, using their experience and strength as a team to beat the likes of BMC Racing Team and Cannondale Pro Cycling Team and 2012 winner Orica-GreenEdge.
Movistar was 11 seconds slower than Omega Pharma-QuickStep but had posted the quickest time until the Belgian squad hit the line thanks to the solid work of team leader Giovanni Visconti, Eros Capecchi, Benat Intxausti, Nicolas Castroviejo, Jan Jose Cobo and Britain's Alex Dowsett.
The riders rushed to pull on warm clothes after the finish before riding to their hotel for a hot shower.
"I'd forgotten how hard team time trials are…" Dowsett admitted to Cyclingnews after going deep to finish in the leading five riders.
"We had a rider order but it got mixed up and I ended up behind Castroviejo. He's so low on his bike that I wasn't getting any help, so it just felt like a fast individual time trial.
"I don’t really have a lot of team time trial experience, I've only ever done two. I learnt a lot at the Great Britain Academy and Team Sky but these guys are very experienced and so if anything, I'm learning off them."
Dowsett confirmed that the gusting wind was the biggest problem, forcing riders to look for every bit of shelter behind their teammates even if it increased the risk of high-speed crashes.
"There were only really two corners where we took it careful. For the rest of it, the wind was more of an issue than the rain. There were a few sketchy moments when we were overlapping wheels, trying to get in the shelter, with everyone darting out of the way," he said.
Dowsett joined Movistar this season after a year at Team Sky. He is a talented time trialist and is targeting the final 9.2km time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto next Tuesday. Before that he faces 1000km of hard racing from the Tyrrhenian coast to the Adriatic.