In a shortened, flat stage (caused by several factors, but mostly the horrific weather conditions), ISN wanted to give Davide Cimolai a final chance for a podium finish. However, Alex Dowsett got into a winning break-away, somehow, by accident.

“There was a group of riders who went away straight from the gun”, Dowsett recapped, “and I just rode a hard pace in order to bring the bunch back up. At least, that was the plan, but then I was suddenly there, in the break-away.”

He did not go full gas in front, and just did the necessary pulls in order to keep everyone happy. “Our goal was to get Cimo in front in the final to sprint.”

Bora-Hansgrohe were chasing for kilometers and kilometers and then, suddenly, the gap exploded: they gave up on the chase. “Then we knew we would make it to the finish.”

“The escapees started to attack each other with around 25 kilometers to go”, the British ITT champion said. “I followed two moves which were not successful and then it was the third move that did get a gap.”

“I felt strong, but I just did not have the aggressive attack. I was 100% committed to get the guys back, and not to sprint for sixth.”

Unfortunately, Dowsett and his escapees did not get back to the front of the race. He finished tenth.

“It went right in stage 8, but it was not meant to be today. However, it was nice to be in the break-away and race for the victory, even though I was not fully meant to.”