GLASGOW (AFP) — Alex Dowsett said the disappointment of not being selected for the Tour de France spurred him on to claim Commonwealth Games gold in the individual time trial.
The 25-year-old was left inconsolable after being left off Movistar’s roster for this year’s Tour.
However, Dowsett said he channelled the anger he felt at being snubbed to help drive him over the line to claim gold for England in Glasgow.
“Not being selected for the Tour was a massive disappointment for me,” Dowsett said. “I kind of spent the whole month fairly angry — not at anyone in particular but just angry at the situation.
“The Commonwealth Games was a big target for me anyway, but it suddenly became a huge target because I really wanted to do something big after the disappointment of the Tour de France.
“I’ve always been the same since I was a kid and really pull something big out of the bag when I’m really angry. The day I was not selected by Movistar was the day I tried to turn all that fitness into time trial specific stuff.”
In a closely-contested men’s race, Dowsett produced a flying finish to claim the title in a time of 47:41.78, nine seconds ahead of Australian Rohan Dennis in second.
Geraint Thomas finished third over the 38.4km course to claim bronze for Wales.
Dowsett said he used the race to prove a point to himself and to the doubters who questioned where his career was heading.
“I had a point to prove to myself. I knew I was worthy of a place, but I was unlucky when I got ill,” the English rider said. “I don’t hold anything against my team for not taking me. If I was team manager I’d have probably not taken me either.
“But it was obviously a huge disappointment, and I think a couple of people questioned where I was going, and I knew I could come here and prove them wrong a little bit. This win goes a lot deeper than just the Commonwealth Games.”
Dowsett set down an early marker as he finished the first 6.4km just under four seconds faster than Jesse Sergent of New Zealand.
The English rider’s consistent rhythm saw him stretch his lead after 17.1km. Dennis trailed Dowsett by seven seconds at this point, but over the next 15 kilometers, the Australian managed to overtake the Englishman to take a five second lead into the final 6.4km.
However, Dowsett was able to dig deep to find the energy to sprint home fastest.
“Everything has just come together and I was able to channel all of that disappointment in the right way,” said Dowsett. “I could have been sat in my room utterly depressed for the whole month but I was able to use it to spur me on in the final few kilometers.
“I was getting time checks all the way around. I thought it was all over to be honest as I was struggling over the last 10km, but obviously everyone was struggling,” the 25-year-old said. “I just fought harder than I had ever fought before.”
The win meant Dowsett was also able to banish the memory of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Dehli, where he had to settle for silver behind Scotland’s David Millar.
Millar is in his final season as a professional cyclist, was unable to end his Commonwealth career with a medal, finishing in eighth place.
“This will be a career highlight for me,” Dowsett said. “In my eyes it is bigger than my Giro d’Italia stage win.”