Alex Dowsett aiming for Tour de France ride in 2014
Alex Dowsett (Movistar) hopes to race the Tour de France for the first time next season. After racing and winning a stage in the Giro d'Italia, he feels that it is the logical step.
He told Cycling Weekly this morning, "It's a massive ask but if I can go there and do a repeat of the Giro, it'd be massive."
Dowsett participates in his final race of the year in the Tour of Beijing this week. The first stage today began north of Beijing at the 2008 Olympic rowing park in Shunyi. Reflecting on the World Championship time trial over a week ago, he said his season was terrible.
"Overall, it's been pretty bloody terrible. Except for the Giro and that one stage, which makes a poor year brilliant, I really haven't finished a race otherwise. I had a lot of bad luck, crashes, illness. I'll look back on this year, though, as the best yet because of the Giro."
Sky and Dowsett, after 2011 and 2012, did not agree on a contract for 2013. Dowsett went abroad for his third year to race in Spain's Movistar team. He felt that with a foreign team he would have better chances to compete in a Grand Tour.
Movistar included Dowsett in its Giro d'Italia team this May. He helped them place second behind Sky in the team time trial and won the individual test, beating Bradley Wiggins by 10 seconds, in Saltara
"I left Sky to get those opportunities and Movistar put faith in me for them opportunities. They put me in the Grand Tour that suited me the most and rested me for the time trial. It paid off and completely vindicated my move."
After Beijing and the dust settles on 2013, Movistar will hold a team meeting in Pamplona. Dowsett hopes the seeds of the Tour de France will be planted there.
"I'll want a good tour build up and maybe I'll give the classics a miss, aiming for things like the Dauphiné and Paris-Nice. I'll want to participate in more races that are going to harden me up for the Tour, coupled with training in the mountains," added Dowsett
"Nairo Quintana showed he's ready to win the Tour so I'm under no illusions. He's a Grand Tour contender and I need to earn my place."