Commonwealth Games 2014: Dowsett uses anger to power to gold
Commonwealth Games 2014: Alex Dowsett proves cycling angry can lead to success as he stormed to gold in Glasgow
Alex Dowsett proved that cycling angry can lead to success as he stormed to Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow.
Dowsett was left fuming after he was left out of Movistar’s roster for last month’s Tour de France, an untimely illness leaving him with breathing difficulties, hardly ideal when you are about to tackle sport’s most fabled test of insurance.
It was a huge disappointment especially with the race starting in Yorkshire. It was bloody tough watching how amazing it was on TV
But after his maiden Grand Tours stage win at last year’s Giro d’Italia, the 25-year old struggled to accept he’d watch the race that defines the season from the sidelines.
However, gold at the Commonwealth Games time trial went some way to making amends for the disappointment.
“I had a point to prove to myself,” he said. “I know I was worthy of that Tour place, I was unlucky in when I got ill. I don’t hold anything against my team for not taking me. If I was my team manager I would’ve probably not taken me as well.
“However, it was a huge disappointment especially with the race starting in Yorkshire. It was bloody tough watching how amazing it was on TV.
“I think a couple of people doubted the decision to come to the Commonwealth Games but I wanted to prove them wrong.”
Dowsett covered a demanding and technical 38.4km course, made more difficult by greasy roads, in just 47:41.78, nine seconds quicker than Australia’s Rohan Dennis while Geraint Thomas completed the podium.
“I’ve spent the last month angry, not at anyone in particular, just angry at the situation. Everything’s just come together and I’ve really been able to channel the disappointment in the right way,” he added.
“Commonwealth Games was a big target for me anyway but it suddenly became a huge target, especially after getting the silver last time.
“I can’t describe just how happy I am with that today. It goes a lot deeper than simply winning the gold medal of the Commonwealth Games. It’s a personal victory for me.
“I’ve always been the same, since I was a kid, I usually pull something fairly big out the bag when I’m really angry.”
Meanwhile, Emma Pooley, who won Olympic time trial silver in 2008, finished second in the women’s event.
Pooley posted the quickest time on the 29.6km course, only for the last rider on the course, New Zealand’s Linda Villumsen to beat it by six seconds.
“I’m really grateful to have had the opportunity to compete for so long, and am grateful to those who have supported me over the past seven or eight years. To get a medal tops everything,” she said.
“You can’t be frustrated when you have done your best. Obviously, it was nice to cross the line with the quickest time but less nice when somebody goes quicker.”