Alex Dowsett believes this year’s British Cycling National Road Championships time-trial will be closer than ever as he eyes up an unprecedented fourth straight title.
The 25-year-old will start this year’s time-trial in Monmouthshire, Wales, as the man to beat having won the last three editions.
But as he goes in search of a record-breaking fourth consecutive victory Dowsett knows he won’t have it all his own way with London 2012 Olympic time-trial champion Sir Bradley Wiggins and Welshman Geraint Thomas on an imposing looking start list.
This year’s event also features a hilly technical course that includes a challenging climb through Celtic Manor that peaks at over 20 per cent.
But despite the obstacles in his way Dowsett is not about to relinquish his grasp on the national title without a fight.
"I've got quite used to the national champs jersey now having had it for three years and I'd quite like another year in it,” said Dowsett, who comes into the nationals after contesting the tough nine-day Tour du Suisse.
"I think this year's going to be the hardest nationals I've ever had – in terms of fighting to keep the jersey. Obviously with Brad and Geraint here it's not going to be easy.
“I'm going to go out and do my utmost to go as quick as I can around that course.
“The only advantage I'll get is that I'll know with Brad being my two-minute man and Geraint behind six-minute man, I'll be getting splits on them, whether I'm up or down so I can adjust my ride accordingly and try and get the best out of myself.”
© Sportsbeat 2014