Dowsett gains valuable experience in WorldTour debut
Alex Dowsett, Tour of Beijing 2011
Britain's Alex Dowsett learnt yesterday in the Tour of Beijing that he needs to hone his skills over the winter to complete in WorldTour races.
"I am good enough," Sky's Dowsett told Cycling Weekly. "I just need to work on my climbing, that's a clear weakness of mine."
Dowsett held the young rider's white jersey after the opening time trial. He led the race until David Millar and World Champion Tony Martin finished their rides. Martin still leads the race and Millar by 17 seconds with one day to go.
However, Friday's mountains were too much for Dowsett. He finished eight minutes behind the leaders and lost the white jersey.
"I wasn't good enough, in all the races I've done I haven't done a climb like that since Critérium International," added Dowsett. "I am not used to it, but that's not really an excuse.
"I was always at 400 to 500 watts going up, but I was just going backwards. It's just something I need to work on if I want to do well in these races."
Alex Dowsett in Beijing
The Tour of Beijing received top-level, WorldTour ranking for its first year this year. Dowsett turned professional this year with Sky and raced a full calendar, but never a race in the WorldTour.
"You got to aim high. The prologue showed that I can mix it with the guys. It was an honest prologue: road bikes, flat, no sheltering or hiding in that type of prologue."
Despite Friday's loss, Dowsett says he would return to the Tour of Beijing.
"I don't think anyone really knew what the climbs were going to be like because the profiles were a little misleading. They were a lot harder than I expected. It makes for a good race, but not for me.
"I need to work on my climbing and come back here stronger next year to challenge for the overall win. I don't see why that can't be achievable."
Dowsett won the British time trial championships this year and wore the national champion's jersey for the opening stage. He also won the Tour of Britain time trial in London.
Tour of Beijing 2011: Related links
Stage four: Viviani tops Beijing's Great Wall stage
Stage three: Roche wins
Russia next stop after Tour of Beijing
Stage two: Haussler bounces back with Beijing win
Tour of Beijing faces smog and police
Stage one: Martin holds off British charge to win Beijing time trial
Tour of Beijing: A step forward for cycling?
Team Sky get ready for Tour of Beijing