Alex Dowsett’s switch from Team Sky to Movistar ensures the two-time British time trial champion remains on Pinarello bikes for a third successive season.
But, beside the Italian firm’s name printed on the downtube, little else is familiar for the 24-year-old. We bumped into Dowsett outside Movistar’s hotel in Majorca on his return from a training ride ahead of his opening race of the season earlier this month and took the opportunity to ask him to run us through his new machine for 2013.
“It feels like a completely different bike to me – different saddle, different handlebars, different groupset, slightly different frame,” said Dowsett.
The Essex-born rider rode Pinarello’s Dogma 2 frame in his final season at Team Sky, whom he joined as a neo-pro at the start of the 2011 campaign, but has upgraded to the new flagship Dogma 65.1 Think 2 model for 2013.
The frame was first unveiled ahead of last year’s Tour de France but has only recently become available for Pinarello’s two sponsored teams – Movistar and Team Sky (we showed you Bradley Wiggins’ Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Think 2 earlier this month).
“I’ve gone for a slightly different size frame,” said Dowsett. “Last year I was running a 54cm frame with a 14cm stem but this year I’ve gone up to 55cm with a 13cm stem to make it a bit more user friendly. It does feel like a different setup – I’m having to use my thumbs for gears, which I’m not used to.”
Dowsett’s Sky machine was equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, while Movistar are one of five Campagnolo-sponsored WorldTour teams (with Astana, Lotto-Belisol, Ag2r La Mondiale, SaxoBank-Tinkoff and Vacansoleil-DCM), with the Brit’s new steed dressed in the Italian component manufacturer’s electronic Record EPS groupset.
“The shifting system is very different to Shimano,” said Dowsett. “I like it. Shimano is very smooth but with Campag is more of a positive ‘clunk, clunk, clunk’ and I like that a lot.
“Funnily enough, my first ever road bike when I was 13 was Campag but then I’ve been Shimano all the year up apart from one year with SRAM.
“My first bike was a red and silver Carrera. The first time I did a time trial on it I put on a set of clip-on bars and they swung around and took a large chunk of paint off the top tube. I was absolutely scarred by it.
“That and my time trial bike were the only bikes my mum and dad had to buy for me. Bless them, I think they got off quite lightly with me and my sister. She was adamant she didn’t want to go to uni, I obviously didn’t go to uni, and so there’s no debt. They’re rubbing their hands together and saying ‘let’s go on holiday’!”
Dowsett’s equipment is now, of course, provided by his team’s sponsors and his transfer to Movistar sees him swap Team Sky’s Shimano wheels, PRO finishing kit and Fizik saddles for Campagnolo hoops, FSA cockpit components and a Selle Italia perch. It’s all stock kit but Dowsett’s time trial machine at Sky had one special piece of equipment he will now have to do without.
“The time trial handlebars I had at Team Sky were custom made by UK Sport and worth something like £12,000 so naturally you’re going to lose them when you switch teams,” said Dowsett. “But at the end of the day they’re handlebars and it’s still me doing the pedalling.”
Dowsett’s provisional race programme for 2013 will see him pedalling at races including the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and Giro d’Italia. We sat down with the Commonwealth Games silver medallist in Majorca to run through his plans for the season so watch out for an in-depth interview on RoadCyclingUK soon. In the mean time, here’s a closer look at his bike.
Dowsett remains on a Pinarello following his switch from Sky to Movistar
Pinarello say the new Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Think 2 is “more rigid and more reactive” than the Dogma 2
Dowsett is the first Briton to ride for Movistar since Jeremy Hunt rode for the Spanish-based squad, then named Banesto, from 1996 to 1999
The two-time British time trial champion has increased his frame sized and decreased his stem length for 2013
An SRM power meter crunches the numbers
The Essex-born rider is using Campagnolo components for the first time as a professional
Dowsett uses LOOK Keo Blade Carbon pedals
The 24-year-old sits on a Selle Italia Flite saddle