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The Telegraph

Alex Dowsett’s 2021 schedule: Bury himself at Giro d’Italia, win the Olympics, break the hour record

In an ideal world, Alex Dowsett will fulfil a lifelong ambition this summer by representing his country at an Olympic Games. The 32-year-old will win a medal in the time trial in Tokyo, having first helped a Yates twin or a Tao Geoghegan Hart or a Geraint Thomas to victory in the road race. He will then return to Europe and reclaim the Hour Record, a discipline in which he says he has “unfinished business”. Of course, Dowsett has been around cycling long enough to know the ‘ideal world’ rarely exists. Injuries, illness, loss of form – there are any number of potential obstacles to overcome. Dowsett’s planned crack at the Hour Record just before Christmas had to be aborted at the last minute after he contracted coronavirus (“Given the air pressure on the day I was due to do it, that was a real kick in the teeth,” he says). The truth is, just being selected for Team GB would be a serious accomplishment given there are only four spots available on the road and Dowsett’s is just one name on a shortlist that also includes the aforementioned Adam and Simon Yates, Geoghegan Hart, Hugh Carthy, Geraint Thomas, James Knox, Luke Rowe and Tom Pidcock. Chris Froome, his Israel Start-up Nation team-mate and a seven-time grand tour winner, is not even on coach Matt Brammeier’s shortlist, although Dowsett insists it is “not beyond” the double Olympic bronze medallist to find some form and make a late bid for glory. Either way, Dowsett is philosophical. The Essex rider begins the Giro d’Italia in Turin on Saturday confident that he has done absolutely everything in his power to be on the start line in Musashinonomori Park on July 24. “I’ve worked harder than I’ve ever worked,” Dowsett says from his hotel room in Turin, which he is sharing with Alessandro De Marchi. “I mean, I always feel like I’ve worked as hard as I’ve ever worked but I have just stepped it up again this year. My weight’s down, my power’s up. I could not have done any more. So I think whatever happens, I’ll be at peace with it.”

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