MALDON cyclist Alex Dowsett failed to impress at the final tour race before the Tour de France and the week prior to the defence of his British championship time-trial title.

Dowsett, who hopes to be included in Movistar’s nine-man squad for the Tour next month, had been hoping to show the selectors what he could offer in the Tour de Suisse but he struggled to make an impression.

He had targeted last Friday’s time trial as a potential stage win but ended up finishing in 26th position, 1 minute and 48 seconds down on winner Tony Martin. He even finished 42 seconds down on his teammate Ion Izagirre.

Dowsett tweeted after the stage ‘that was not an easy TT’.

Next up for the 25-year-old Cocks Clark rider is Thursday’s British Championships Time Trial event, in which Dowsett has claimed victory in the past three years.

And Dowsett, who broke the ten-mile time trial record in Cambridgeshire, has no intention of relinquishing his title without a fight.

“It’s not going to be a walk in the park that’s for sure,” Dowsett told a cycling magazine.

“I’m not in the slightest way confident but I don’t think you have to be in a time trial. I’m confident I’ll go out and do the best ride I can possibly do. What you can’t control is how quick everyone else goes so I’m hoping that whatever I do will be good enough.”

“I’ve seen information on it and what not. It’s not a time triallist’s time trial necessarily – it’s quite technical.”

The Tour de France’s third stage comes through Essex on Monday, July 7.