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Commonwealth Games

Alex Dowsett draws on Tour anger to win Commonwealth Games gold

Snubbed by the Movistar team this year, the Englishman channels his disappointment towards winning the individual time trial

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 August, 2014, 10:47pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 August, 2014, 10:47pm
 

Alex Dowsett said the disappointment of not being selected for the Tour de France spurred him on to claim Commonwealth Games gold in the individual time trial.

The 25-year-old was left inconsolable after being dropped by Spanish team Movistar for this year's event.

However, Dowsett said he channelled the anger he felt at being snubbed to help drive him over the line to claim gold for England in Glasgow.

The day I was not selected by Movistar was the day I tried to turn all that fitness into time-trial-specific stuff
Alex Dowsett

"Not being selected for the Tour was a massive disappointment for me," Dowsett said.

"I kind of spent the whole month fairly angry - not at anyone in particular but just angry at the situation.

"The Commonwealth Games was a big target for me anyway, but it suddenly became a huge target because I really wanted to do something big after the disappointment of the Tour de France.

"I've always been the same since I was a kid and really pull something big out of the bag when I'm really angry.

"The day I was not selected by Movistar was the day I tried to turn all that fitness into time-trial-specific stuff.

"Everything has just come together and I was able to channel all of that disappointment in the right way.

"I could have sat in my room utterly depressed for the whole month, but I was able to use it to spur me on in the final few kilometres."

In a closely contested men's race, Dowsett produced a flying finish to claim the title in a time of 47 minutes, 41.78 seconds - nine seconds ahead of Australian Rohan Dennis in second.

Geraint Thomas finished third over the 38.4km course to claim the bronze medal for Wales.

Dowsett said he used the race to prove a point to himself and to the doubters who questioned where his career was heading.

"I had a point to prove to myself. I knew I was worthy of a place, but I was unlucky when I got ill," the English rider said.

"I don't hold anything against my team for not taking me. If I was team manager, I'd have probably not taken me either.

"But it was, obviously, a huge disappointment and I think a couple of people questioned where I was going, and I knew I could come here and prove them wrong a little. This win goes a lot deeper than just the Commonwealth Games."

The win meant Dowsett was also able to banish the memory of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, where he had to settle for silver behind Scotland's David Millar.

"This will be a career highlight for me. In my eyes, it is bigger than my Giro d'Italia stage win," the English rider added.

In the women's time trial, Linda Villumsen, who also just missed out on top spot in New Delhi, claimed a 600th Commonwealth Games medal for New Zealand as she raced to gold.

Her success means New Zealand becomes the fourth Commonwealth Games Association to reach that total after Australia, England and Canada.

England's Emma Pooley claimed silver in her final race before retiring, while Katrin Garfoot took bronze for Australia.

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