It got as close as it could be to a 'comfortable' defense for Alex Dowsett as the 26-year-old Briton conquered the 36th edition of Bayern-Rundfahrt (UCI 2.HC) in south Germany following the final circuits in Nürnberg (198km). The whole Movistar Team led the Essex boy home brilliantly, with all Soler, Sanz, Capecchi, Moreno, Anacona and Sütterlin - combined with sports direction by José Luis Arrieta and José Luis Laguía - entirely focused on the UCI Hour Record holder's success.
A five-man break avoided any of the three intermediate sprints being contested by Dowsett's nearest rival Tiago Machado (KAT), which meant he only had to keep any gaps into the final bunck kick tight to conserve the yellow jersey. It's Alex's 10th pro victory - his first overall classification after 24-hour stints in yellow at both the Circuit de la Sarthe and the Tour of Britain last year - and also the Movistar Team's 23rd success of the 2015 season, only thirteen short of their best record in 1998 with almost five months of competitions still to come.
REACTION / Alex Dowsett: “I’m really good on losing yellow jerseys, so keeping this one makes me really happy! It was amazing to have the whole team working for me. Everyone committed at 100%, more or less from kilometer zero. We had a good plan for today by the team directors, plus Javi (Moreno) made some good calls on the road, took some good sort of decisions on how to ride so everything could go right. Really all of the guys gave their best - It was so fantastic that even inside three kilometers to go, the Movistar Team was still sending guys to the front to make sure the bunch came all together. When I crossed the finish… it was phenomenal. I barely did anything today.
"These races are definitely something I wanted to aim since I came here - obviously, events with not much climbing and all flat finishes are already good for me, but I just need to work now on making my climbing better. I can obviously do good time trials, but I need to make sure that I can stay stay close to the others on the climbs.
"Getting into the Tour de France will be my next target. The adaptation to what was needed for the track made me put on two or three kilos more than I’d be normally, so I’ll need to work harder on losing that. Hopefully I can make it into the Tour team, but before that, it’ll be the National Championships - I would like to get my white skinsuit with the national stripes back for the TT’s! I’ll go to Mallorca after this for some time in the hills and the heat, and then, I believe, I’m doing the Tour de Suisse.”