Great Britain’s Alex Dowsett produced a sensational ride to record a top-five finish in the elite men’s time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire today.
Dowsett – the national champion – finished just six seconds outside of the medal positions as he claimed his highest-ever world championships finish.
Team-mate John Archibald also impressed over the 54km course. The Scot – who was a late addition to the start list following the withdrawal of Geraint Thomas – occupied the hot seat for a considerable amount of time before eventually finishing 14th, as the title was won by Australia’s Rohan Dennis for the second successive year.
Afterwards, Dowsett said:
“It was a good ride – solid. I’m happy with how I executed the plans; the crowds out there were mad. Today is a working day, and people have clearly taken the day off to come out and support me and John, which is really good of them.
“They definitely gave us a little something extra. In that middle section of the course you really had to dig in, and to see and hear this massive crowd really helped.”
Archibald was off relatively early on in the 57-man competition, and quickly established himself at the top of the embryonic leaderboard, recording a time of 1:08:16.28.
As he was eventually surpassed, his compatriot Dowsett was reaping the benefits of the huge home support out on the course, surging up the leaderboard to record the quickest time so far: 1:07:07.12.
Italian rider Filippo Ganna was the next to finish, and knocked six seconds off Dowsett’s time, before Belgian wonderkid Remco Evenepoel crossed the line fastest to edge Ganna down into second.
He stayed in the hot seat until the very last, however a determined Dennis ensured that the rainbow stripes stayed in his possession, recording a time of 1:05:05.35 to keep hold of his title and make sure that Evenepoel had to settle for silver and Ganna bronze.
“To sit in the hot seat for a bit, and to put my name in amongst these guys – I think I’ve done fairly well and I’m pretty pleased with how it’s gone.”
Great Britain’s medal count remains at two (both bronze) at the conclusion of the time trials, which focus now switching to the road races, beginning with the junior men’s event tomorrow.