Alex Dowsett

Ahem, excuse me for a minute while I dip my toes in the water. Seems ok so far.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm going to pose a series of non rhetorical questions regarding Dowsett's attempt to break the Hour Record.
I do not claim to know anything regarding his preparation for the record other than what has been stated, nor do I know what he has done training-wise to prepare leading up to a record held by the likes of Sir Brad and Campenaerts.
I've been paying attention to the lead up to his attempt, and a lot of attention is being paid to revolutionary techniques in bike manufacturing -- e.g. expensive chains, aerodynamics, etc. -- as well as his revolutionary diet, training schedule, atmospheric temperatures, etc. Dowsett goes on to talk about Tissot's timing mechanism and the revolutionary kit he will be wearing during his attempt.
There seems to be a lot of revolutionary things going on here.
Now, I'm not one to rain on anyone's parade, but since this is the Clinic, I'm wondering if everyone here thinks the guy is cleans. Don't get me wrong -- Dowsett is a very talented rider and is by all accounts a good guy. I'm wondering if someone much smarter than me can chime in to say the revolutionary advances is enough to overcome the physiological barriers incurred by attempting the Hour Record.
I hope the guy does a fantastic ride, but I'm just curious to hear the opinions of others.
Here goes! Splash!
 
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Ahem, excuse me for a minute while I dip my toes in the water. Seems ok so far.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I'm going to pose a series of non rhetorical questions regarding Dowsett's attempt to break the Hour Record.
I do not claim to know anything regarding his preparation for the record other than what has been stated, nor do I know what he has done training-wise to prepare leading up to a record held by the likes of Sir Brad and Campenaerts.
I've been paying attention to the lead up to his attempt, and a lot of attention is being paid to revolutionary techniques in bike manufacturing -- e.g. expensive chains, aerodynamics, etc. -- as well as his revolutionary diet, training schedule, atmospheric temperatures, etc. Dowsett goes on to talk about Tissot's timing mechanism and the revolutionary kit he will be wearing during his attempt.
There seems to be a lot of revolutionary things going on here.
Now, I'm not one to rain on anyone's parade, but since this is the Clinic, I'm wondering if everyone here thinks the guy is cleans. Don't get me wrong -- Dowsett is a very talented rider and is by all accounts a good guy. I'm wondering if someone much smarter than me can chime in to say the revolutionary advances is enough to overcome the physiological barriers incurred by attempting the Hour Record.
I hope the guy does a fantastic ride, but I'm just curious to hear the opinions of others.
Here goes! Splash!
Doping or not I sort of like the guy, primarily because he's a hemophiliac. (Not sure why he thought cycling would be the best "non-contact" sport to pursue, we all know there are plenty of crashes and bleeding going on in cycling.)

I wish him the best of luck in his pursuits, at any rate.
 
Hey guys, look! I'm drowning, not waving!
Help!
Those attentive readers might want to take note that I asked if someone smarter than me might want to take a stab at the question I posed: Do the quote revolutionary aspects introduced during the lead up the the attempt overcome the physiological rigor needed to break the record.
Not surprisingly, the snark begins post haste. It's fun to play the internet, innit?
I never said the guy is doping; I thought I made that clear.
Also, it's amazing how many people now pretend that doping has gone the way of the dodo.
 
There seems to be a lot of revolutionary things going on here.
All the revolutionary things equipment wise probably amount to < 3% probably < 1% even. Basically a publicity gimmick to promote the equipment suppliers for sponsoring. The power required is directly proportional to the air density. Just to give a perspective, the air density at sea level vs 2000m is 1.225 vs 1.007kg/m3 which gives ~ 18% lower power requirements for the same speed(as good as drafting). Also the temperature effect 25(day) vs 7C(night) is ~ 6%. I am sure acclimatization and training and nutrition played a part but nothing revolutionary that wasn't already known. One cannot get publicity or generate interest without blowing up what is being done. Considering his pedigree in TT and having already beaten Wiggins in his career, the probability of him involved in clinic issues is low
 
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All the revolutionary things equipment wise probably amount to < 3% probably < 1% even. Basically a publicity gimmick to promote the equipment suppliers for sponsoring. The power required is directly proportional to the air density. Just to give a perspective, the air density at sea level vs 2000m is 1.225 vs 1.007kg/m3 which gives ~ 18% lower power requirements for the same speed(as good as drafting). Also the temperature effect 25(day) vs 7C(night) is ~ 6%. I am sure acclimatization and training and nutrition played a part but nothing revolutionary that wasn't already known. One cannot get publicity or generate interest without blowing up what is being done. Considering his pedigree in TT and having already beaten Wiggins in his career, the probability of him involved in clinic issues is low
Thank you for answering a question.
 
It's ok and even rational to think that anyone who performs well must be doping, but it makes for absolutely tedious Clinic conversation if that's the only thing we have.
This was posted before his, now failed by quite a distance, attempt. A previous record holder having another go at it and performing probably how most people would have expected is no rationale for a clinic thread if they didn't have one beforehand. To post it before the attempt has even happened, just because he's having a go, is frankly ridiculous.
 
What's unexpected in a TT specialist who previously held the hour record having another go at it?
The fact that he set his previous record 6,5 years ago, hasn't won a single serious ITT since then and could be hardly considered as top 10 TTist at the moment? I have to admit, I was rather surprised when he announced his attempt for the first time last year.

If you could easily name 10 different riders that had bigger chances that Dowsett, then it seems quite unexpected that it is him making the attempt and saying there's a real possibility of breaking it.

I assume no one would be surprised if Ganna or Kung announced their attempts, but Dowsett at this point of his career?
 
The fact that he set his previous record 6,5 years ago, hasn't won a single serious ITT since then and could be hardly considered as top 10 TTist at the moment? I have to admit, I was rather surprised when he announced his attempt for the first time last year.

If you could easily name 10 different riders that had bigger chances that Dowsett, then it seems quite unexpected that it is him making the attempt and saying there's a real possibility of breaking it.

I assume no one would be surprised if Ganna or Kung announced their attempts, but Dowsett at this point of his career?
Last year he was 4th at the Euros and 9th at the Worlds and you think he can hardly be considered a top 10 ITT rider? I don't think he is right now, but that's a big stretch to then use language that implies he's nowhere near those riders. In both cases he literally finished directly behind the current HR holder.

By this logic half the team leaders in the peloton shouldn't be pro cyclists any more. There's no limit on who can make a HR attempt, so saying there are others who would likely do better who are not doing it is irrelevant. Dowsett isn't taking away their opportunity, they just haven't tried yet (I believe Ganna has said he will). He rode it for charity and to raise awareness for haemophilia, and again, he has recently performed on a level extremely close to the current holder in the most comparable event we can look at on the road.

So we have an ex-record holder, who has been competitive on the road against the current holder in probably the two best indicators (he lost to VC then and he didn't beat VC in his attempt, so probably what most would predict) as recently as last year, and who wanted to raise money and awareness for a cause he is passionate about. I'm also pretty sure that he has said many times he was going to have another go at it and you think it's surprising he did?
 
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Hey guys, look! I'm drowning, not waving!
Help!
Those attentive readers might want to take note that I asked if someone smarter than me might want to take a stab at the question I posed: Do the quote revolutionary aspects introduced during the lead up the the attempt overcome the physiological rigor needed to break the record.
Not surprisingly, the snark begins post haste. It's fun to play the internet, innit?
I never said the guy is doping; I thought I made that clear.
Also, it's amazing how many people now pretend that doping has gone the way of the dodo.
You gave us a classic example of "JAQing off".
 
Last year he was 4th at the Euros and 9th at the Worlds and you think he can hardly be considered a top 10 ITT rider? I don't think he is right now, but that's a big stretch to then use language that implies he's nowhere near those riders. In both cases he literally finished directly behind the current HR holder.

By this logic half the team leaders in the peloton shouldn't be pro cyclists any more. There's no limit on who can make a HR attempt, so saying there are others who would likely do better who are not doing it is irrelevant. Dowsett isn't taking away their opportunity, they just haven't tried yet (I believe Ganna has said he will). He rode it for charity and to raise awareness for haemophilia, and again, he has recently performed on a level extremely close to the current holder in the most comparable event we can look at on the road.

So we have an ex-record holder, who has been competitive on the road against the current holder in probably the two best indicators (he lost to VC then and he didn't beat VC in his attempt, so probably what most would predict) as recently as last year, and who wanted to raise money and awareness for a cause he is passionate about. I'm also pretty sure that he has said many times he was going to have another go at it and you think it's surprising he did?
By saying he's hardly top 10 TTist at the moment (not for the last year; the level of ITT goes up super fast now), I didn't say he's nowhere close to those riders, but if I had to make a current ranking of top TT riders I'd very likely put him outside of the top 10 and you've just admitted, you'd do the same.

Campenaerts was 3rd (almost 2nd) at the Worlds 7 months before his HR attempt and won ITT at Tirreno just a few days before, beating guys like Dennis, Dumoulin, Roglic and Ganna. 2020 Campenaerts =/= 2019 Campenaerts, as we all know he switched his focus formTTs to other goals after '19 season. Then your comparisons aren't quite relevant as well.

HR is a bit different than a general road racing. It takes place in a very controlled conditions and the result of such an attempt for any of the riders is quite easy to predict with quite a high level of certanity, so your comparison to team leaders is imo out of the place. Also, afaik doing a WHR attempt isn't obligatory for all the riders, just like the other road races are, and my point here was that imo it's quite pointless to make such attempt if your chances for braking the record aren't strongly justified.

BUT, considering that he has made the attempt not only to try to break the record, but just like you said (maybe even mainly), to do it for his charity etc, I agree with you this decision becomes much less surprising if we consider the whole picture, not only a sports aspect.

I just said that from my personal POV, when he announced last year, quite out of nowhere (I had no idea he's planned to do it for a longer time), that he wants to make a HR attempt, my very first reaction was being surprised and I suppose many people were as well. Nothing more than that. ;)
 
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The fact that he set his previous record 6,5 years ago, hasn't won a single serious ITT since then and could be hardly considered as top 10 TTist at the moment? I have to admit, I was rather surprised when he announced his attempt for the first time last year.

If you could easily name 10 different riders that had bigger chances that Dowsett, then it seems quite unexpected that it is him making the attempt and saying there's a real possibility of breaking it.

I assume no one would be surprised if Ganna or Kung announced their attempts, but Dowsett at this point of his career?
Hour record attempts have been a bit of a niche thing for quite a while because the specific training and the effort (time and money) doesn't really make it attractive for the absolute best to have a regulary go at it. I mean, Campenaerts himself wasn't the top top ITTer in the world when he broke it.

Dowsett gave an interview to Lanterne Rouge where he detailed all the issues around it and basically for someone like Ganna or Van Aert, their current goals in cycling just rank above the hour record (although, now that Ganna has won everything he wanted he'll have a go at it) and for sponsors its also not really an attractive achievement.

So Dowsett as someone that had backing from sponsor+team, was willing to sacrifice own goals but also work for the team and had other incentives (his youtube channel and haemophilia awareness) was a perfect candidate especially because he already knew about the logistical proceedings from his previous attempts etc.
 
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Hour record attempts have been a bit of a niche thing for quite a while because the specific training and the effort (time and money) doesn't really make it attractive for the absolute best to have a regulary go at it. I mean, Campenaerts himself wasn't the top top ITTer in the world when he broke it.

Dowsett gave an interview to Lanterne Rouge where he detailed all the issues around it and basically for someone like Ganna or Van Aert, their current goals in cycling just rank above the hour record (although, now that Ganna has won everything he wanted he'll have a go at it) and for sponsors its also not really an attractive achievement.

So Dowsett as someone that had backing from sponsor+team, was willing to sacrifice own goals but also work for the team and had other incentives (his youtube channel and haemophilia awareness) was a perfect candidate especially because he already knew about the logistical proceedings from his previous attempts etc.
I agree with you in general, but saying that Victor wasn't a top top TTist at that time is a bit undermining.

Some results in ITTs of Campenaerts ('18 season and one from '19) before his HR attempt, chronologically:
  • 1st in Belgium NC (ahead of Lampaert and De Gent)
  • 1st in EC (ahead of Castroviejo, Dowsett, Kung)
  • 2nd in Binckbank Tour stage (behind Kung)
  • 3rd in Vuelta opening stage (behind Dennis and Kwiato)
  • 3rd in the WC (behind Dennis and Dumoulin)
  • 1st in Tirreno stage (beating names like Dumoulin, Dennis, Ganna)
 
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By saying he's hardly top 10 TTist at the moment (not for the last year; the level of ITT goes up super fast now), I didn't say he's nowhere close to those riders, but if I had to make a current ranking of top TT riders I'd very likely put him outside of the top 10 and you've just admitted, you'd do the same.
You said "I have to admit, I was rather surprised when he announced his attempt for the first time last year." So when he announced it and was a top 10 TTist you were surprised, but you now imply that if he was a top 10 TTist at the moment you wouldn't be. So which is it? Either he was a top 10 TTist when you heard about this attempt and thus it isn't surprising, or being a top 10 TTist is irrelevant so it's strange you brought it up?

Campenaerts was 3rd (almost 2nd) at the Worlds 7 months before his HR attempt and won ITT at Tirreno just a few days before, beating guys like Dennis, Dumoulin, Roglic and Ganna. 2020 Campenaerts =/= 2019 Campenaerts, as we all know he switched his focus formTTs to other goals after '19 season. Then your comparisons aren't quite relevant as well.
So the level of TTing changes super fast, 7 months is acceptable and 12 isn't? What is the arbitrary cut off and how is this measured? And how does it relate to the fact he was a top 10 TTist when you heard about this attempt?

HR is a bit different than a general road racing. It takes place in a very controlled conditions and the result of such an attempt for any of the riders is quite easy to predict with quite a high level of certanity, so your comparison to team leaders is imo out of the place. Also, afaik doing a WHR attempt isn't obligatory for all the riders, just like the other road races are, and my point here was that imo it's quite pointless to make such attempt if your chances for braking the record aren't strongly justified.
You seem to miss my point about team leaders, I'm well aware that the HR is different to both road racing and TTing. There are team leaders who haven't won races in years and have about the same chance of winning as Dowsett had of breaking this record. No road races are obligatory, by your logic they should all not try to win.

BUT, considering that he has made the attempt not only to try to break the record, but just like you said (maybe even mainly), to do it for his charity etc, I agree with you this decision becomes much less surprising if we consider the whole picture, not only a sports aspect.

I just said that from my personal POV, when he announced last year, quite out of nowhere (I had no idea he's planned to do it for a longer time), that he wants to make a HR attempt, my very first reaction was being surprised and I suppose many people were as well. Nothing more than that. ;)
So you didn't have all the information, were surprised, and now admit it was wrong to be. That's fine, but then why post in this thread and suggest that your initial surprise, which you've said was the wrong position to take, is a good reason for this thread being posted a year later, when all of Dowsett's intentions and motivations were extremely clear (you've even posted about his YouTube Videos elsewhere)?
 
I haven't heard anything revolutionary in alex's buildup videos and commentary? He's selected commercial products he's been lucky-enough to be donated as it's a largely self-funded attempt for his charity and clearly he's using the latest methodology and sports science to give himself the best chance and got to within around 500m of the record. The 3D titanium triangle was donated to solve a problem with having to use a TT frame on the track and Silca have a 3D titanium printer so offered to help. Hardly revolutionary, several brands use printed titanium components for several years now. Alex's approach was modern that's for sure. As for doping, to assume that would have to admit the Movistar attempt was too and every single TT before that, because his numbers are pretty stable over the years. Think he did 358W in the Movistar attempt, Obree did 350W on old faithful and they're a similar size and weight and within 0.01 cda of each other apparently.
 

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