Alex Dowsett (Movistar) – Giro d’Italia individual time trial victory
It was not just Mark Cavendish celebrating at the Giro, as fellow Brit and former Sky team-mate Alex Dowsett marked his debut Grand Tour in style.
The 25-year-old, three-time British time trial champion left Team Sky in the winter in the hope of earning a Grand Tour start, and new team Movistar helped him realise his dream straight away with selection for the Giro d’Italia. The Essex-born rider didn’t let his new team down and produced a stunning ride to win the 54.8km individual time trial on stage eight.
The stage – the longest individual time trial at the Giro since 2009 – was contested over a long, technical course and was expected to favour a Brit, but it was Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins, not Dowsett, whom all eyes were set to be on.
Rolling onto the course as the 44th of the 201 riders remaining in the race, Dowsett comfortably set the fastest time over the rolling start to the course before recording a blistering second half to the race – which included a sharp 11 per cent climb in the final kilometre – to move into the lead.
As the main GC contenders, including Wiggins, rolled out, it was anticipated his time would eventually be beaten but the more riders who finished, the more impressive his mark appeared. And after a cautiously slow start and an early puncture set Wiggins back, Dowsett was left to celebrate the biggest victory of his career to date.