Consistency and some tips of the trade picked up from Bradley Wiggins – not to mention his own performance – helped Owain Doull secure fifth place in the U23 men’s time trial at the World Championships in Richmond on Monday.
The 22-year-old never slipped outside of the top eight during the 29.9-kilometre course and although he finished 36 seconds down on winner Mads Schmidt, the British rider was content with his own performance.
“I think I paced it well. I didn’t come here with a massive amount of prep with the Tour of Britain taking the priority but I had a good hit out today for the road race, which is more of a goal for the week. I’m happy with a top 10. I’ve never done a major Worlds or Euro U23 time trial so I was going into the unknown a bit,” he told Cyclingnews.
Doull is a track specialist by trade and rides for the WIGGINS Continental team. He will race in Sunday’s road race but after a third place in the Tour of Britain last week he came into today’s time trial with a realistic shot of a top placing.
“I’ve done time trials of that length before, such as Nationals but never something like this and I’m not really a specialist in this discipline but coming from a pursuit background I’ve spent enough time in the low-pro position, at least.
“The Tour of Britain ride was a bit of a breakthrough. I’ve never really been at that level before so it hasn’t really sunk in yet but the road race here is the main thing for this week. We have a really strong team for the road race and we’ve a really strong chance of a medal.”
While Doull made his way through the media mix zone it wasn’t hard to disguise the hand written note on his left hand with ‘AERO’ written in thick black pen. It’s a trick that he’s picked up from Bradley Wiggins, his captain at trade team level and likely teammate for the pursuit at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
“On a course like this, with it being so quick, and so open, the more you can stay aero the better. The note is for the last 20 minutes or so when you’re really struggling so if it’s on your hand you’re always thinking about it. I do it more at a lot of major time trials, and it’s one thing that Brad does actually, so that’s one thing that I’ve taken from him. It gives you something to think about other than the pain.”