Alex Dowsett can’t wait for 2011 with Team Sky
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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Alex Dowsett can’t wait for 2011 with Team Sky

by Ben Atkins at 11:57 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
22-year-old Trek-Livestrong rider excited by step up to ProTeam

alex dowsettAlex Dowsett was confirmed as a member of the 2011 Sky Professional Cycling Team last month and the 22-year-old can hardly wait for his first season in the top flight to begin.

"I've had a great year with Trek Livestrong and really enjoyed my time living out in Colorado. The opportunity to ride for them came about after my performance in the 2009 Under 23 World Time Trial Championships (where Dowsett finished seventh) and having talented guys there like Taylor Phinney and Jesse Sergent meant it was a case of success breeding success.

"Those two set the standard initially and gave the rest of us something to aim for, and the season turned out really well. Five of us have been signed up for the ProTour next year and that's almost unheard of for an Under 23 team.”

From the Trek-Livestrong class of 2010, Sergeant and the American Ben King have signed for RadioShack, Phinney has signed for BMC Racing and the Australian Ben King has signed for Team Type 1.

"Winning the European Championships [time trial] was definitely my highpoint for 2010 though,” he explained, “not just for the result itself, but for the way the victory came about.

"I'd broken my shoulder blade just eight weeks before it at the Olympia's Tour and the doctors told me I'd be lucky if I could ride there, let alone train properly for it. I was back on the turbo in the space of a week though and back on the road after 10 days.

"I got my head down, worked really hard, and to get the result made all that effort worthwhile. It was a really good feeling.”

While there were doubtless other results for the ProTeam to consider, Dowsett sees that victory as a decisive factor in getting his contract with Sky.

"Not long after securing that title I started talks with Team Sky and there was never any question whether it was the right move or not,” he explained. “It was a real honour to be approached by them."

While the European title might have been a personal highlight, perhaps even more impressive was his silver medal in the Commonwealth Games time trial, as the only rider to come within a minute of race winner David Millar.

As a first year pro, Dowsett is under no illusions as to what his role will be as he joins the top-level team.

"During the first part of the season I think I will be working primarily as a domestique," he said. "Doing a lot of the early work in races like controlling breaks and things. I'm also looking forward to leading out the sprinters because I've done that a fair bit for Taylor this season and it is an area of racing I enjoy.

"As a time trial specialist I obviously want to carry on developing that side of my performance as well, and especially over the shorter distances. That's going to be major goal for me, not only for Team Sky, but also with one eye on the Olympics in 2012. Since my Commonwealth Games performance I've began thinking it could be a possibility for me to compete there and obviously that's a massive goal.

"That's all in the future though and right now I just want to get settled and used to the higher standard of riding you get in a ProTour team.”

Although he rubbed shoulders with the elite peloton while riding for Trek-Livestrong at the Tours of Qatar and Oman at the beginning of the season, Dowsett is well aware of the step up he will be taking as he starts his first race for Team Sky.

"Next year's going to be a massive learning process,” he admitted, “and having guys there like Bradley Wiggins, Juan Antonio Flecha and Kurt-Asle Arvesen to advise me is going to be a huge plus and I'm really looking forward to it."

Dowsett is currently training for the European Track Championships, to be held next month; after which he will join his new team for its first get together in preparation for the 2011 season.


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