Alex Dowsett and Beñat Intxausti reflect on a mixed day for the Movistar Team
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Saturday, May 11, 2013

Alex Dowsett and Beñat Intxausti reflect on a mixed day for the Movistar Team

by Ben Atkins at 4:47 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
 
24-year-old Briton takes victory in his first Grand Tour TT but Spaniard loses pink jersey

Alex DowsettToday’s Giro d’Italia stage eight time trial, between Gabicce Mare and Saltara’s Villa del Balì was a mixed one for the Movistar Team, as Alex Dowsett took the victory, but Beñat Intxausti lost the overall race lead. For 24-year-old Dowsett it was a maiden stage victory in his first ever Grand Tour, and confirmation of his talent, as well as a vindication of his decision to leave Team Sky at the end of 2012. For Intxausti, however - while he may not have expected to have held on to the Maglia Rosa - the time lost was a disappointment as he found himself with no energy at the finish.

"It will take a bit of time before I realise what I have done, I still can't believe it myself,” said Dowsett afterwards. “It was a much harder TT than I expected; without a doubt, the hardest in my life.

“I used some extreme gears, a 55-29, to tackle some of the difficult sections,” said the British time trial champion. “The last climb seemed like it was never going to end, my eyes were clouding as I believed I would never reach the finish. Before the start, getting into the top ten would have been enough for me, so being able to notch up the victory is amazing.”

The time trial came at the end of a tough opening week of the Giro, but the 24-year-old has been able to save himself as much as possible for what was a personal target.

“The team had given me confidence to take things easy in the first week, thinking of this day,” Dowsett explained. “This was my goal, the day when I wanted to do my best. My personal ambitions are more than fulfilled with this victory, and from now on, my only duty will be working for my team-mates. Beñat lost a bit of time, but we will try to get him back close to the best overall again."

Intxausti started the day just five seconds ahead of Astana’s Vincenzo Nibali, and eight ahead of BMC Racing’s Cadel Evans, and so may well have been expecting to lose his Maglia Rosa. His time at the end of the stage was 4’02” slower than that of Dowsett, however, which meant that he had lost more than three minutes to the general classification favourites.

Benat intxausti"I would have wanted to be a little bit closer to the front to be honest, but I didn't have my best day on the road, especially through the final 15km,’ Intxausti admitted. “Until then, things were going well, because the first part of the route suited me well, but then I started struggling and I couldn't get the body back into proper condition.

“I was completely out of energy, everybody could see that at the finish,” he added. “I was empty. We'll have to analyse why it happened and come to some conclusions for the future, but I don't want to think of it any more right know, because the most important thing at this moment is being recovered for tomorrow, when I want to be within the best again before Monday's rest day, which will do well to all of us surely.”

Despite losing the Maglia Rosa, however, as well as slipping down to 14th overall, the team spirit at Movistar is high, he says, after what has been a successful opening week.

“I'm extremely happy about Alex's victory; he deserves to win in such a big race,’ Intxausti said. “Taking pink yesterday, today's victory... we're on a good path, let's hope it stays like this all the way to Brescia."

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