The 29-year-old will represent Team GB in the 52.5km test next Wednesday but believes it is unnecessarily hard, with a 5km ascent and maximum 14 per cent gradient discouraging other specialists.
“There is a bit of a climb in it, which is a bugger. I can see why they want to stick a climb in every so often, but they did that last year. I don’t really know why they’d do that this year,” Dowsett said.
“And the thing is this year you’ve got a couple of guys that are in contention -- [Primoz] Roglic, [Tom] Dumoulin. You would have said [Chris] Froome or G [Geraint Thomas] but I don’t think they’re in World Championship winning shape. If you made it flat those few guys would still be in contention, but there would be 15 others as well.”
Dowsett’s compatriots Froome and Thomas both withdrew from the selection race, citing exhaustive seasons that included overall victory at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France respectively. Roglic also bowed out the time trial due to an elbow injury that won’t inhibit his title campaign in the road race.
Australian Rohan Dennis will enter the individual time trial as a favourite following his two stage victories at the Vuelta a Espana, where he exited early in preparation. American Tejay van Garderen has also outlined medal aims while Dutch champion Dumoulin, runner-up at the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, is yet to officially confirm a title defence.
“Maybe it’s from a selfish point of view but from a race point of view there is a lot less competitors at Worlds. I’m not ruling myself out, I’m just saying it doesn’t lean toward my attributes. I will regardless still go and give it a really good crack,” Dowsett continued.
Watch Alex Dowsett in action at the UCI Road World Championships in the elite men's ITT Wednesday 26 September streaming via our website and SBS On Demand from 10pm AEST.
The five-time national champion competed at the recent Tour of Britain, which Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe won, earlier this month. The race featured an uphill team time trial that his Katusha-Alpecin trade squad finished third.
Great Britain, similarly to Australia, has overhauled its governance structure in the lead-up to Austria with Matt Brammeier now at the helm. Team GB’s approach is like what newly appointed Cycling Australia high performance director Simon Jones is trying to install in pursuit of World and Olympic medal revival.
“It’s cool to see Matt Brammeier taking over things as well for the elite GB, he knows what we need beforehand,” Dowsett said. “There are no late decisions, you’re told quite a long way out where you sit in the selection line, so you can prepare. There’s not going to be any surprises.”
Watch the worlds with us from Monday 24 September to Sunday 30 September live streaming here or via SBS On Demand. You can also catch the women's (Sat 29 Sep) and men's (Sun 30 Sep) elite road races on SBS Viceland. More details here.