CYCLING star Alex Dowsett put the pain of his Tour de France snub behind him to win gold in the men’s individual time trial yesterday.
The 25-year-old from Cock Clarks, near Maldon, used the hurt of being dropped at the last minute from the Movistar line up for this year’s Tour to power him to an achievement he described as a “career highlight”.
Dowsett came from behind to win by a margin of nine seconds from the Australian Rohan Dennis, who had been leading through most of the time checks, completing the 38.4km route in 47 minutes 41.78 seconds.
“I fought like I’ve never fought before - no-one wanted that more than me today,” he said afterwards.
“I was a bit disappointed and angry (at not riding the Tour de France), not at anyone in particular but at the situation.
“I knew I was worthy of a place but I don’t hold anything against my (Movistar) team manager. If I had been selecting, I would not have taken me either.”
Dowsett was pulled from the Tour team a week before the start of the race in England with his team management saying he had been experiencing breathing difficulties.
But Dowsett only used that to fuel his bid to upgrade the silver medal he won at the last Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
He said: “The Commonwealth Games became a huge focus for me. I channelled my disappointment. I could have just sat in my room, but I have always been the same since I was little, when I’m angry I always pull something out of the bag.”
Dowsett said he thought he had blown his chances with 10km to go but believes he was not the only rider struggling out on the Glasgow roads which were packed with fans.
“I thought I was well over in the last 10km, but obviously everyone else was struggling too,” he said. “The win goes a lot deeper than the Commonwealth Games. It’s a personal victory and a thank you to my friends and family.”
And the Essex star believes the win ranks higher than his time trial win in last year’s Giro d’Italia.
“This is bigger,” he said."I think a lot of nations that aren't in the Commonwealth don't understand just how big the Commonwealths are.
"I didn't give it the credit that was deserved before Delhi and that silver medal there just proved to me just how massive the Commies are.
"This will be a career highlight for me, regardless of what I do from here on in."
One of the first people to congratulate him was his friend and training partner, Basildon professional Russell Hampton, who tweeted: “I saw first hand out much of a blow it was for Alex to miss out on the Tour but I knew he would always come back with a bang.”
Behind Dowsett and Dennis in third place was Wales’ Geraint Thomas who joked he would be making sure his former Team Sky team-mate was happy the next time they raced.
He said: “Before the next time-trial I do I'm going to send Alex Dowsett some flowers. Make sure he is happy!”