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Dowsett, Harrison and Rowsell 2013 British time trial champions

Dowsett, Harrison and Rowsell 2013 British time trial champions

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Alex Dowsett, Joanna Rowsell and Sam Harrison were crowned the 2013 British Time Trial Champions in Stewarton - all three taking decisive victories.

Dowsett, the final starter in the final race, faced an hour of pain and tension, having to recover from an early crash caused by a detatched tubular tyre.

The incident, which forced the defending champion and Giro d'Italia stage winner to change bikes, ripped his skinsuit and left raw skin and blood down the entire left side of his body.

Finishing visibly shaken, Dowsett's first reaction on winning was to express relief.

This was due in no small measure to the significant challenge delivered by Matt Bottrill, who despatched with Team Sky's Ben Swift and Luke Rowe, and was only five seconds adrift on the first of two 24km laps.

Bottrill crossed the finishing line to beat Swift into the provisional lead by one tenth of a second, but moments later, Dowsett stopped the clock 21 seconds ahead of time for a convincing defence of his title.

Retaining the jersey for the second consecutive time, Dowsett told after the race of how he never lost belief in winning the title.

"It was my first crash in a time trial, I was racing without any information on power or speed and only had my gears as reference. But I knew that as long as I could get settled I could still do a good job. Once I knew I was five seconds up half way round I knew I could do it.

"I was up quick after the crash. My hands were suffering the most, I couldn't grip the bars. I just had to grin and bear it.

"When I first took this jersey, I think it was Wiggins who said 'whoever takes this is only looking after this for me.' But I'm going to have this for three years now and I'm becoming quite attached to it."

For Bottrill, second place was almost as good as the win against a quality field with the smallest time gaps of the day.

"I'm really in shock. There was no pressure, it was up to the pros to try and beat me. I didn't know what the time gaps were, I didn't know Alex had crash. I was being shouted at but didn't know what the words were. But 20 seconds, it's a big amount, I couldn't have found any more. It would have been amazing to have won it, the highlight of my career, but coming second is as well."

2013 British Time Trial Championships Results:

Men (hour.min.sec)
1. Alex Dowsett 1.02.30
2. Matt Bottrill +0.00.21
3. Ben Swift +0.00.21
4. Douglas Dewey +0.00.32
5. Luke Rowe +0.00.49


Joanna Rowsell defeated Lizzie Armitstead to claim the women's title at the British Time Trial Championships in Stewarton.

Rowsell, Olympic gold medallist in the women's team pursuit and reknowned individual pursuiter recorded a time 16 seconds quicker than Armitstead on the opening lap and nearly doubled that gap by the time she finished the 49-minute test.

On a rolling Stewarton course, Armitstead was showing why she is the favourite for Sunday's road race, catching and passing minute-woman Laura Trott.

It would not be enough to displace Rowsell, who took earlier advice from the under-23 men to pace her ride in the early stages and completed her transition from three kilometre track specialist, to time trial performer.

Her time of 49 minutes 25 seconds put her 32 seconds clear of Armitstead, who in turn had over one minute over Katie Colclough in third.

Following the race, Rowsell had a chance to gather her thoughts on an event she targeted earlier in the year.

"I was quoted in the media that I was focussing on the road this year, but actually I just wanted a break over the winter, just a normal winter rather than trying to peak for the track worlds in February. But to be honest I felt a bit lost at the start of the season, I didn't know if I'd be out of the back or what. So I set this as a target quite early in the season just because it was something I knew I could come and do. Initially I was quite worried about the distance being 22 miles, but now I think they suit me actually.

"It was tough being 22 miles. I've done three 25s this year and I've learned I can go hard from the start, but not really really hard, you can't pace it too much but this course was a bit hilly. From the start you're up a hill and I think a few of the boys found that and were suffering for the whole race. I tried to pace it to begin with but I felt pretty bad to begin with, on the first lap, but felt better on the second lap, which is a good way round I suppose."

Reflecting on her ride, Armitstead revealed she was questioning her abilities when catching those minutes ahead of her on the road.

"To be honest I was convincing myself they had punctures, and then I thought I was going too easy as I was catching them and thought to stick with a pace I thought was good. I missed having a radio, maybe that would have spurred me on, because I was getting lost in my thoughts in all of it, but it was the right order. Jo was for me the out and out favourite from the start so I'm really happy for her."

Summarising how the time trial showing would effect her mindset for Sunday's road race, Armitstead talked of a boost in confidence, with the opportunity to do something in the road race.

"The feelings were good. I couldn't have gone any harder, but I wasn't pulling a lung out to do it either so the sensations are getting better which is what I wanted."

2013 British Time Trial Championships Results:

Women (min:sec)
1. Joanna Rowsell 49:25
2. Lizzie Armitstead +00:32
3. Katie Colclough +01.37
4. Emma Trott +01:56
5. Laura Trott +02:01
6. Lucy Coldwell +02:15
7. Elinor Barker +02:17
8. Anna Turvey +02:38
9. Hannah Barnes +02:57
10. Julia Shaw +03:19


Sam Harrison successfully defended his under-23 British Time Trial Championship with an assured performance in Stewarton.

Sam Harrison

The 20-year-old 100% ME rider completed the 35.2-kilometre course in East Ayrshire, Scotland in 44 minutes and 47 seconds, ahead of Joe Perret and teammate George Atkins.

After the first of two 17.6-kilometre laps Harrison, out last as defending champion, was 32 seconds up on Perret and had 43 seconds on Dan McLay.

And although Perret reduced the deficit to 24 seconds he was unable to deny the Great Britain Cycling Team rider his victory.

After the race, Harrison put into context why the win was so important - beyond proving himself in a physical test.

"It's always good when there's a good standard field to pull off the win. I felt bad in the week coming up, but I'd been targeting and training for it for a while and I was hoping that on the day I could pull it off so luckily I was on a good day.

"In the last couple of years I haven't put myself on the line saying I want to target a specific thing, I've not really stepped up under pressure on the road so I'm really happy to pull it off on the day."

2013 British Time Trial Championships Results:

Under-23 men (min:sec.hun)

1. Sam Harrison 44:47.965
2. Joe Perrett +00.23.036
3. George Atkins +01:24.602
4. Dan McLay +02:04.436
5. Jon Dibben +02:41.777
6. Jon Mould +02:55.604
7. Josh Teasdale +03:26.222
8. Liam Glen +03:40.527
9. Elliott Porter +03:41.796
10. Ed Laverack +03:42.342