Israel Start-Up Nation's Alex Dowsett has announced that he has been handed a two-year contract that will keep him in the professional peloton until at least the end of 2022, but is unable to yet reveal whether it's a contract extension with his current team or whether he's moving elsewhere.
In a YouTube video published at the weekend, the 32-year-old six-time British time trial champion said that he had begun to think about what he might have done instead had a new contract not been forthcoming.
He also admitted that his spectacular solo victory on stage 8 of the Giro d'Italia in October – only the second non-TT victory of his career following his stage win at the Tour du Poitou Charentes in 2011 (although he also took the overall victory at the Bayern Rundfahrt in 2015) – had helped opened some doors.
"It became quite apparent after the Giro that I was slightly concerned about what I would be doing for the next couple of years, and the good news is that I am sorted," Dowsett said. "I will be remaining as a cyclist of the professional nature for the next two years at least.
"That's good, because I was really, for a while, wondering… We were considering all options. It turns out that winning a stage of the Giro can be quite useful when it comes to trying to keep yourself in bike racing, so that's great."
Dowsett suggested that an alternative career or lifestyle was very much on the cards before the new contract materialised.
"We were very open-minded with what to do, and, if I'm honest, starting to consider life outside of racing was initially met with a whole load of fear, because the minute I finished my A-levels, I was a full-time cyclist and I don't really know any different," he said.
"I'd like to think that I understand the world, but, in truth, when you are a pro bike rider, you have a warped view on what the outside world is. But I was coming around to the idea of potentially being a stay-at-home dad or finding work on the other side of cycling," said Dowsett, whose partner is expecting their first child.
"So for when it does all end, perhaps this experience this year has made life a little bit easier to be ready for when… Because that will be a huge change when it does happen. But, fortunately, that's not going to happen in 2021 or 2022," he said.
Dowsett also added, later in the video, that because of the cycling season's enforced coronavirus-pandemic break, he would try to keep some semblance of fitness going throughout the winter months this year, rather than taking a long period off the bike.
"I've decided not to 'off-season' this year – not in its entirety – not the full four-week bender that pro cyclists often subject themselves to," he said, adding that he had been able to "remove my head from cycling" for a short time following the Giro.
"I took four days off the bike, and then I went to a wind tunnel for a day," Dowsett said. "I'm still trying to gauge where the recovery's at, because each Grand Tour is different. I felt like I got better and better as the Giro went on, whereas sometimes I've just been on my hands and knees by the end of it, but how you recover can vary."
Well now that we know America’s future, what about mine? 😉 https://t.co/tt8geByJpmNovember 7, 2020
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