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June 23, 2017

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Tour de France snub drives Dowsett to gold in Glasgow

GLASGOW, Scotland -- Alex Dowsett said the disappointment of not being selected for the Tour de France spurred him on to claim Commonwealth gold in the individual time trial.

The 25-year-old was left inconsolable after being dropped by Spanish team Movistar for this year's event.

However, Dowsett said he channeled the anger he felt at being snubbed to help drive him over the line to claim gold for England in Glasgow.

"Not being selected for the Tour was a massive disappointment for me," Dowsett said.

"I kind of spent the whole month fairly angry — not at anyone in particular but just angry at the situation.

"The Commonwealth Games was a big target for me anyway, but it suddenly became a huge target because I really wanted to do something big after the disappointment of the Tour de France.

"I've always been the same since I was a kid and really pull something big out of the bag when I'm really angry.

"The day I was not selected by Movistar was the day I tried to turn all that fitness into time trial specific stuff.

"Everything has just come together and I was able to channel all of that disappointment in the right way.

"I could have been sat in my room utterly depressed for the whole month but I was able to use it to spur me on in the final few kilometers."

In a closely-contested men's race, Dowsett produced a flying finish to claim the title in a time of 47 minutes 41.78 seconds — nine seconds ahead of Australian Rohan Dennis in second.

Geraint Thomas finished third over the 38.4km course to claim the bronze for Wales.

Dowsett said he used the race to prove a point to himself and to the doubters who questioned where his career was heading.

"I had a point to prove to myself. I knew I was worthy of a place but I was unlucky when I got ill," the English rider said.

"I don't hold anything against my team for not taking me. If I was team manager I'd have probably not taken me either.

"But it was obviously a huge disappointment and I think a couple of people questioned where I was going and I knew I could come here and prove them wrong a little bit. This win goes a lot deeper than just the Commonwealth Games."

The win meant Dowsett was also able to banish the memory of the 2010 Commonwealth Games New Dehli, where he had to settle for silver behind Scotland's David Millar.

"This will be a career highlight for me. In my eyes it is bigger than my Giro d'Italia stage win," the English rider added.

In the women's time trial, Linda Villumsen, who also just missed out on top spot in New Dehli, claimed a historic 600th Commonwealth Games medal for New Zealand as she raced to gold.

New Zealand becomes the fourth Commonwealth Games Association to reach that total after Australia, England and Canada.

England's Emma Pooley claimed silver in her final race before retiring while Katrin Garfoot took bronze for Australia.

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