Movistar's Alex Dowsett targets TT at Giro D'italia

Alex Dowsett

Giro d'Italia

4-26 May (13 and 20 May are rest days)
Live commentary on the final hours of each stage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra or online; live text commentary on BBC Sport website

Alex Dowsett says surviving his first Grand Tour is a priority, but is hoping to impress on the time trial stages.

The 24-year-old is among Movistar's Giro D'Italia team in the 21-stage race, which has two time trials.

The Maldon rider told BBC Essex: "In the forefront of mind it's something I'd just like to get through.

"But there's a couple of time trials that are right up my street. Once you've done one Grand Tour you come out a different sort of bike rider."

Dowsett left British-based Team Sky last year to become the only native English-speaking member of Spanish outfit Movistar.

The move was made with the intention of increasing his participation in major races, and after competing in all this season's Classics, Dowsett is primed for his Grand Tour debut.

"They've thrown me straight into the deep end. I'm really grateful to the team," he said.

"I've put in a lot of hard work. I'm as ready as I can be but I'm under no illusions that the upcoming Giro is going to be the hardest thing I've ever done.

"I think the length is going to be the biggest hurdle. I did the Tirreno-Adriatico earlier this year and that is as close as it's got - that was eight days, two days in the mountains, one day really lumpy throughout.

"I was okay. There was never a point where I thought there was a chance I might not finish. I had everything under control and I've put in some real hard work since then.

"Form-wise I'm in good shape, so the first week should be fine. After that I don't know what to expect, because I've never done more than eight or nine days. It's going to be tough."

Dowsett, who missed the opportunity to join Team GB at London 2012 because of an injury, will focus on assisting his team-mates in the sprints and General Classification.

But he has personal targets after helping Movistar to a second-place finish in the 16.9km time trial at March's Tirreno-Adriatico.

"I think we can be competitive in the team time trial on day two and the individual time trial is 55km, which is longer than normal," he said.

"But I've done time trials of that length before and my competitors maybe won't have."

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