Number 15: Alex Dowsett
Last year’s position: 23
Team Sky’s new recruit certainly deserved a pro contract with his performances for the Trek-Livestrong under-23 team and his national squad.
Dowsett won the European Championships under-23 time trial in Turkey in July with a superbly clinical performance.
A couple of months later he was pipped in the prologue of the Tour de l’Avenir in Vierzon by his Trek team-mate Taylor Phinney, who was riding for the USA. You get the feeling it won’t be the last time those two go head to head.
Dowsett inherited the yellow jersey a couple of days later, when Phinney crashed.
The World Championships didn’t quite go to plan. Dowsett was sixth fastest through the first time check when he hit his pedal on the ground as he went through a corner. His rear tyre rolled off and he had to swap bikes. Unfortunately, the British Cycling team car only had a standard road bike as a spare and so he faded to finish 31st. It was a shame because he had been in good form and after talking to David Millar about his pacing and game plan was in a position to challenge for a medal. He made amends with an aggressive ride in the road race, where he powered across to the break.
No one was going to beat Millar in the time trial at the Commonwealth Games but Dowsett pushed him harder than most and was the only man to get within a minute of the Scot.
Cycling Weekly’s Top British Riders of 2010 advent calendar: We will reveal one rider per day behind the virtual doors of our sparkly advent calendar from Wednesday December 1 to Christmas Eve, Friday December 24. The top eight will then be revealed in Cycling Weekly magazine’s final issue of the year, which will be in the shops on December 30 2010.