British rider Alex Dowsett made history for Israel Start-Up Nation on Saturday, soloing his way to victory on Stage 8, securing his team’s first-ever stage win at the Giro d’Italia, but took time after the race to reveal the emotions that have underpinned a trying season.
“It’s such a tough year [with] all the uncertainty,” began Dowsett.
“I am just trying to work out how I get to next year and still be racing, still doing what I love and still being able to put food on the table for three of us rather than two of us come January, so hopefully this will help secure something for next year.
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“To win like that as well. As you get older, you wonder when your last win might be, your last Grand Tour, your last anything. So, you just learn to savour it and enjoy it.
Dowsett: You wonder when your last win might be
Dowsett was also keen to pay tribute to his team-mate Matthias Brandle, with whom he secured the yellow jersey on the Tour of Britain in 2014.
“There were some strong guys in the break," said Dowsett.
"The only unknown for us was the fella from Androni [Giocattoli-Sidermec]. Nikki Sørenson was on the radio telling us how each rider was: ‘very good, very good, very good and probably very good as well’. We knew we had our work cut out but with Matthias [Brändle] and myself both in the breakaway we knew we could use each other. Last time I was in the breakaway with Matthias, he won a stage of The Tour of Britain and I rode into the yellow jersey. Only good things happen when I’m in a break with Matthias.
The win was Israel Start-Up Nation’s first at Grand-Tour level but Dowsett was keen to point out the infancy of his team.
“It’s still quite a new team [Israel Start-Up Nation] so it’s a bit unfair the commentators keep saying we’re the only team not to have won. I think it’s been a while for Cofidis," added Dowsett.
“I think it’s going to be a big relief for the team to get that win under our belt. We’ve been close a few times; the boys in the Tour were fighting every day. I think the team can end this year feeling pretty content with how things have gone and we’ve still got the Tour of Flanders to go, La Vuelta and a few stages here.”
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