Alex Dowsett set to join Katusha-Alpecin for 2018 - Road Cycling UK

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Alex Dowsett set to join Katusha-Alpecin for 2018

Essex-born time trial ace insists team "will not regret this transfer"

Alex Dowsett insists Katusha-Alpecin ‘will not regret’ signing him, after it was revealed the British rider will join the team from Movistar next season.

Dowsett, a five-time British time trial champion and reigning Commonwealth Games time trial champion, will add firepower to the Katusha-Alpecin line-up next season after agreeing a one-year deal.

It brings to an end a five-year spell at Movistar since leaving Team Sky at the end of 2012, which saw him win a Giro d’Italia stage in 2013 but also grow frustrated at his lack of Grand Tour opportunities.

The move will see him link up with world champion Tony Martin and Katusha-Alpecin’s marquee new signing Marcel Kittel next season, and the Essex-born rider, 28, hopes to not only pursue time trial success but also add firepower to Kittel’s sprint train.

Alex Dowsett will join Katusha-Alpecin next season (pic – Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

“I will continue to focus on my time trial but also all other races, especially stage races, including the Grand Tours, are important for me,” he said.

“I know that I will get my chances but I am ready to be a good domestique. In my period with Team Sky, I was one of the riders to protect Mark Cavendish and bring him to the last kilometer. I hope to do the same now with Marcel Kittel.

“I am good in positioning other riders to the sprint, but also to the climbs. Katusha-Alpecin will not regret this transfer. The team has evolved so much the last years. It’s an honour for me to be part of it. I will not disappoint them.”

Dowsett claimed the 15th pro win of his career earlier this season, winning the time trial stage of the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe-Pays de la Loire, while he has also previously won on the WorldTour at the Tour de Pologne and claimed overall honours at Bayern-Rundfahrt.

He also briefly held the UCI Hour Record, setting a new mark of 52.937km in May 2015 before Sir Bradley Wiggins’ set the existing record a month later.

But since winning a stage on his Grand Tour debut at the 2013 Giro d’Italia, he has raced just one further Grand Tour for Movistar, having been unlucky with injuries and also selection decisions.

His soon-to-be team manager at Katusha-Alpecin, Jose Azevedo, has plenty of belief in the British rider, however, saying: “Alex is one of the best time trial riders in the professional peloton.

“We see nice opportunities with him to bring horse power to the team in the team time trials. Moreover, because of his TT skills, he is able to win stage races, as he has proved already in the past.

“Alex is still young but he has a lot of experience. I have a good feeling about him.”

Dowsett has spent five years with Movistar, but raced just two Grand Tours in that time (pic – The Tour)

Dowsett is the fourth signing announced by Katusha-Alpecin this winter, joining Kittel, Dowsett’s fellow former Trek-Livestrong alumni Ian Boswell (Team Sky) and Dimension Data’s Nathan Haas.

He will be only the second Brit to ride for the team since their 2009 induction, with Ben Swift having been with the team for their first season before joining Team Sky.

Dowsett is the second of the British UCI WorldTour riders to announce his decision to move teams in the winter, with Peter Kennaugh set to join Bora-hansgrohe from Team Sky.

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