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Alex Dowsett
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ALEX DOWSETT:

Alex Dowsett has been by far the highest achieving member in the Maldon & District Cycling Club's history. Alex joined the club in 2002 after being introduced to cycling by Eric & Glenn Smith. Already a keen and talented swimmer, Alex took to cycling very quickly and despite being new to the sport he began to produce some remarkable time trial results. Alex spent his first season with the club familiarising himself with the sport and rapidly improving in club and open events, and by the end of 2003 he had more or less made a full conversion to cycling and came second in the GHS Youth 10 mile time trial championship final aged 14, two years younger than many other competitors. This was his breakthrough at national level and after that he was always seen as a threat by many more established names in the sport. 2004 saw Alex break nearly every club time trial record available to him (which are likely to stay unbroken for some time!) and to take his first national titles on the road; winning the GHS and the National Junior 10m TT Championships as well as bronze in the National Junior 25m TT Championships. At this point he was spotted by talent scouts who invited him to join British Cycling's new development squad, the Talent Team, who he trained with in addition to representing the Maldon in races.


Alex in his early racing days with Maldon & District.

In 2005 Alex was given an invitation that he couldn't really refuse; a chance to join the new and funded Glendene CC junior squad being put together by ex-professional Bob Downs which would include the best juniors from the area. This was the perfect opportunity for Alex to continue to develop and progress to the next level. For recognition of his achievements whilst in the Maldon & District CC, the club presented him with Life Membership and wished him the best of luck with his new squad. It was in the Glendene that Alex also began to dabble at road racing and found that he was able to excel in that discipline as well; winning prolific races like the Junior Tour of the Peaks (which he won by nearly a minute over Johnny Bellis who is now pro with Saxo Bank); the Bath Junior Road Race and the International Junior 3-day Tour of Wales. This great tally of road race results secured him with the overall win in the season-long National Junior Road Race Series. In the same year he won 5 National Junior Time Trial Championships and the Junior British Best All Rounder award with an average speed of 29.54 mph, a Junior British record. In June he also broke the National Junior 10 mile Competition Time Trial record with a time of 19m 13s, taking nearly half a minute off the 13-year-old record. On the track, he was a member of the GlendeneCC/Biketrax 4-man team who won Silver in the Senior National 4K Team Pursuit beaten only by the GB Under 23 Team. His achievements were again recognised by British Cycling who invited him to take a step up from the Talent Team to their Olympic Development Programme.


Alex winning the Junior Tour of the Peaks for Glendene.

2006 saw Alex begin to win and impress at an international level, particularly in time trials.  Alex won the Prologue of the Ster van Zuid-Limburg junior race in Belgium, breaking the course record and enabling him to wear the yellow jersey in the next stage of the race. He also won the short time trialof Stage 2 of the Junior Tour of Switzerland (Tour du Pays du Vaud), as well as being part of the 4-man team that took bronze in the Team Pursuit at the World Junior Track Championships. He was also able to retain his title from 2005 in the National Junior Time Trial Championships.


In winning form in Belgium in National Junior TT Champion's kit.

By 2007, Alex had progressed with British Cycling to the Olympic Academy (full-time cycling and one level below becoming professional) where he signed for the espoir squad 100% ME; the best espoirs in Britain with a stubborn anti-doping attitude. Whilst the rest of the team went to ride full-time in Italy, Alex had to waituntil the summer to complete his A-levels. This did not stop him from dominating the Premier Calendar in Britain, as he won the Perf's Pedal Race and was second in the Eddie Soens Memorial to team mate Ian Stannard (now a full time professiona riderl). This enabled him to win the U23 category of the Premier Calendar. He continued to show his time trial prowess, winning the Rudy Project Series as well as impressive results in the senior men's 10 & 25m National Championships, where he came 3rd and 4th respectfully; before finishing off his season learning the tricks of the trade in Italy.


Riding for 100% ME.

 2008 & 2009 saw Alex continuing to progress in racing, but the extraordinarily high standards of racing in Italy. Highlights include winning the Team Time Trial at the Tour of Alsace (2008), King of the Mountains and 4th overall in the GP Santini  Ardelio (2008), winning the Espoirs National Time Trial Championships (2008), winning the Richmond Grand Prix (2009) and 11th at the European U23 TT Championships. Alex has now represented his country several times in World and European U23 & Junior championships in time trials, road races and on the track. Alex's latest and greatest result was at the U23 World Time Trial Championships where he finished a superb 7th place, only a handful of seconds from a bronze medal place!

Alex graduated from the Academy in 2009 and has inked a deal with the Trek-Livestrong Team for 2010. This is a US-based U23 development squad formed by Lance Armstrong and managed by Axel Merckx, son of Eddy Merckx. We wish Alex all the best in the 2010 season and wish him congratulations on getting onto the team!


At the 2009 European U23 TT Championships, riding for Great Britain.

2010: The Move to Trek-Livestrong could hardly have been better for Alex. Managed by Axel Merckx, son of Eddy, arguably the greatest cyclist of all time, the Trek-Livestrong development team had access to some of the highest quality races on the planet, with Alex a main player. Supporting American prodigy Taylor Phinney, Alex was able to be a major team player yet still had full chance to show his own star quality. The year started well with superb performances in the Tour of Qatar and Tour of Oman. An unfortunate spill in the feed zone of a race in Holland in the summer saw Alex back home for a few weeks nursing a broken shoulder. This did not keep him off the bike for long, and only three weeks after the accident he was a regular competitior at the Maldon evening "10's" & "25's" showing the rest of us what true quality really was. His in jury prevented him from riding the "Under-23 Paris-Roubaix" race on the cobbles of northern France, but who knows what more severe injuries were in store there? The Under-23 European Time Trial Championships in Turkey proved to be the high spot the year as he took the gold medal. Back home and preparing for the World Championships in Melbourne, Alex rode a lot of British-based "25's". His time of 46mins 58secs in the North Hampshire event is the 6th(?) fastest "25" of all time. A superb ride in the prologue of the Tour d'e Avenir (the "amateur Tour de France") saw Alex in the yellow jersey for a day, before the mountains gave the climbers a chance to overhaul him. The World Championships in Melbourne, however, proved to be a minor disaster. Whilst in a podium position, he took a corner a little too quickly and pedalled just a little too soon. This lifted the back end of the bike off the ground and when it dropped back onto the road, the sideways force ripped the tyre off the rim. A fairly major error by his back-up car meant that it was not carrying a spare time trial bike, so Alex had to continue on a normal road bike. This and the time spent changing machines dropped him well out of contention. He interrupted the flight home by getting off in Delhi for the Commonwealth Games. There he took the silver medal in the Men's Time Trial, backing this up with a superb ride in the road race a few days later. After prolonged negotiation, Alex has now signed for the British based Sky squad. He is now a member of one of the major teams in pro cycling and has the opprtunity to really show the rest of the world just what many of us in the Maldon have known for years: He is truly one of the best ever cyclists ever to cock a leg over a bike.  

From 2011 onwards, Alex's international career really hit the big time, culminating at the point of writing in a stage win in the 2013 Giro d'Italia, on form honed to perfection in our own evening "10's" at Steeple. As his profile rose, professional journalists took a much greater interest in him & can probably do him more justice than a simple club account. For a more recent account of his exploits CLICK HERE.