One of Britain’s best cycling talents is staying in the World Tour.
Alex Dowsett was out of contract this winter, but has confirmed that he has agreed a two-year contract extension to stay with Israel Start-Up Nation.
The news means that Dowsett will team up a well-financed new squad of riders at the Isreal team, with Chris Froome, Michael Woods, Daryl Impey and Sep Vanmarcke among the high-profile names joining for the 2021 season.
In an exclusive interview with Eurosport’s Orla Chennaoui, Dowsett explained more about the deal.
“I want to stay in the World Tour, it’s not time to hang up the wheels yet,” Dowsett said.
“I’m staying with Israel, I’ve signed for another two years. Having a two-year deal is great, it means I can really settle in and I’m very happy. It means I can put food on the table too for three people, which is nice.”
‘It’s not time to hang up the wheels yet’ – Alex Dowsett on his new contract
Time trial specialist Dowsett is going for the Hour Record in December, and says that part of the attraction of staying with Israel is his role in improving the team’s TT set-up.
The team’s rate of progression is really quite steep. It’s nice because my role within the team, as well as being the lead-out man and time triallist, is to sort of move the time trialling on for everyone. So working on the bike and the skin suits etc.
“The team aren’t super bound by sponsors, their focus is more on winning races. A lot of the time in a pro team you’ll compromise your performance because you’re using a slow skin suit or you’re using heavy shoes or something. But Israel aren’t into that. So as a rider it’s super exciting to be a part of and pick the best of everything to try and maximise performance, and I’m kind of helping with that which is fun as well.”
Alex Dowsett says he’s ‘fitter, lighter and more aero’ ahead of hour record attempt
Dowsett rode with Israel’s highest-profile new signing for two seasons at Team Sky in 2011 and 2012, and says he’s excited to team back up with Froome.
“The team is clearly showing its intent with the big signings. Getting back together with Froomey will be fun. I was good mates with him when we were both on Team Sky, certainly in 2011 we were both sort of ‘C Team’ in Team Sky… and then he wasn’t C Team after that! He moved up to the A Team and I moved on to Movistar.
“Sky’s way of racing is that they would always be the first seven or eight guys on the front, so even if I was in the same race as Froomey I almost never saw him. I almost never said hello because he was sitting eighth wheel and I was in the bunch with everyone else. So it’ll be nice to catch up and work out what he needs from us all really.
“He brings a lot of experience from the way Ineos do things, and they do things very well. You don’t want to copy because you’ll always be behind if you copy, but certainly understanding what they do and how they do it. Things have moved on a lot since I was there, and that’s where we want to be performing. I think it’ll be really exciting.”