Alex Dowsett (Movistar), who will defend his British time trial title today, has insisted that confidence is not a factor in his approach to the race of truth.
The 23-year-old, who today will bid to be crowned national time trial champion for a third consecutive year, told RoadCyclingUK that his strategy in the chrono will continue to be “to give it absolutely everything”.
Dowsett joined an exclusive club of just 16 British riders to win a Grand Tour stage by topping the time sheet in stage eight of last month’s Giro d’Italia. But despite chalking up the biggest victory of his career, against a world class field, the Essex rider insisted that his approach did not alter with the occasion.
“I don’t go into a TT and think, ‘I want to win this’, or ‘I want to finish top 10’. When I go into a TT, whether it’s the Maldon club 10, a Giro stage, or the world championships, I know I’m going to give it absolutely everything. If I win it – great. If I don’t win it, I’ve got work to do,” he said.
Dowsett’s successful title defence last year equaled the achievement of Chris Newton (1999, 2000) and Bradley Wiggins (2009, 2010). A third title would move Dowsett level with Michael Hutchinson (2002, 2004, 2008), and one behind four-time champion, Stuart Dangerfield, who pulled on the jersey in 1998, 2001, 2003, and 2005.
Today, Dowsett will face competition from the Team Sky trio of Ian Stannard, Luke Rowe, and Ben Swift, and from BMC Racing’s Steve Cummings, among others, over two laps of a 24km course in Stewarton, East Ayrshire.
In the absence of the British WorldTour contingent’s noted time trialists, including Sir Bradley Wiggins, the Olympic champion, Chris Froome, who will lead the Team Sky at next month’s Tour de France, and 2007 champion David Millar (Garmin Sharp), Dowsett will start today’s test as favourite.
The manner of his Giro stage victory, however, where he finished ahead of Wiggins (who changed bike), overall winner, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), and 2011 Tour de France winner, Cadel Evans (BMC Racing), is likely to have placed Dowsett among the top contenders in any field.
“I get asked a lot, where do you to finish?” he told RCUK. “I want to win. If I say I want to win, it’s like you’re cocky.
“For every TT, I’m going to go out, I’m going to as hard as I can, and see what result happens. If someone’s done a better job than me on the day, then hats off to them. If they didn’t, then good for me,” he said.
The men’s time trial championships will start at 6.30pm today, two hours after the women’s event, which will include Olympic team pursuit champions, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Laura Trott, and world junior time trial champion, Elinor Barker, all of whom will race in the colours of Wiggle-Honda.
Olympic road race silver medalist, Lizzie Armitstead (Dolmans Boels) and IG Nocturne winner, Hannah Barnes (MG Maxifuel) will also compete, as will Specialized-Lululemon’s Katie Colclough, the reigning national under-23 road race champion.