“Dave is good at it [teaching], he is good with the young guys,” said Britain’s sports director, Rod Ellingworth.
“They have been talking about the climb, how they are going to approach the climb, the gearing, etc. Dave is good at all that, he loves his cycling and likes to see the British guys going well. He has that passion for time trialling, he was recently saying, ‘We haven’t had any British time trialists for a while, performing at this level.’”
The two have had time to bond during the British team’s two-week stay in Geelong. Millar will race both the time trial and road race at the elite level and is able to pass on his years of experience to Dowsett, who will race the same events at the Under 23 level.
“Alex is pretty good at taking things on,” said Ellingworth, “just listening and talking.”
This year, 21-year-old Dowsett won the time trial at the European Championships and finished second behind American team-mate Taylor Phinney at the Tour de l’Avenir prologue time trial. In Geelong, he focuses on the 31.8-kilometre time trial on Wednesday.
“A win is the goal. I will probably be disappointed with anything less,” said Dowsett.
“There could be a few surprises. There is a Portuguese fellow, Nelson Oliveira, he finished second last year but did really well at l’Avenir on the mountain time trial.”
The World Championships time trial takes in two laps of a circuit similar to the road circuit, one big climb (up Mount Pleasent) and one smaller one (Aphrasia St).
Dowsett said, “It is going to be the case of the lighter you are, the better.”
Regardless of the outcome in the time trial, Dowsett will support Luke Rowe for the road race on Saturday. He, Rowe, Andy Fenn and Jonny McEvoy trained for one hour today in the wind and light rain, stopping mid-ride to drink a coffee.
Millar rode with Mark Cavendish towards Torquay and the Southern Ocean. Tomorrow, Cavendish and Jeremy Hunt will take a car out to Melbourne and then ride the first leg of the road race to Geelong. In Geelong, they will train on the course’s main Ridge climb. Dowsett and Millar will focus specifically on the time trial, riding the course and on the stationary trainer.