Alex Dowsett

  • DOB03 Oct 1988
  • Age26
  • Height 1.83m
  • Weight73kg
  • NationalityGreat Britain
  • Birth PlaceMALDON, ESSEX

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Dowsett set to see red

Team Sky to support World Haemophilia Day

By Nick Howes   Last updated: 17th April 2011

Team Sky will be wearing red Oakley Jawbones during the final stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon on Sunday to commemorate World Haemophilia Day and Alex Dowsett is delighted to have helped champion the cause.

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The 22-year-old is a sufferer of the condition which put simply impairs the body's ability to stop bleeding, and is using his newfound status as a professional rider to help highlight the World Haemophilia Federation, and the life-changing work they do around the world.

When we caught up with him shortly after he touched down in Spain, he filled us in on how the initiative had come about, and how he had been overwhelmed by the response from the team.

He told us: "Every year they hold a big event at Silverstone to commemorate World Haemophilia Day on 17 April and everybody who attends wears something red. Because I'm racing at Castilla y Leon this weekend, I'm unable to go, but I still wanted to show my support.

"I mentioned to the management team a few weeks ago that I wanted to wear something red and their response was amazing. They got in touch with Oakley, who have kindly supplied us with some really cool glasses, and also got Sky on the case as well.

"They have a Velo Club at the company and 50 guys are riding the Marmotte cyclosportive this summer. Every one of them has offered to donate £30 to the Federation, who will use that money to support a twinning programme between the Royal London Hospital and two hospitals in the Dhaka, Bangladesh which will get them up to speed with modern and risk-free ways of treating Haemophilia.

"I wasn't sure how it would be taken by the other riders on the team, but they've also got right behind it and it's fantastic to have their support."

Role model

As well as raising awareness for the good causes the World Haemophilia Federation do, Dowsett was also keen to advertise the fact that one of the most important ways to keep the condition under control is by keeping fit and active.

As a child, Dowsett was encouraged by his parents to try as many sports as possible and is hoping his heightened profile can inspire others to follow his lead.

He added: "If a child has Haemophilia it's very easy for their parents to want to wrap up them up in cotton wool and not expose them to sport, but that in itself can breed more problems.

"Although the risks of contact sports like football and rugby are restrictive, there are plenty of other activities sufferers can try instead.

"When I was younger I did an awful lot of swimming, sailing and athletics and it's definitely helped keep my condition in check."

Despite his young age, Dowsett has no qualms about becoming a figurehead for Haemophilia sufferers and is delighted to have been given the opportunity to give something back after all the support he has received over the years.

"Being an ambassador is something I'm really passionate about pursuing because I get a great deal of satisfaction from showing sufferers what's possible and hopefully inspiring them to be more active.

"What I've achieved so far in the sport is unheard of for a Haemophiliac, so I'm keen to send the message out that if you have Haemophilia, it doesn't need to hold you back at all.

"I've got a meeting with the president of the World Haemophilia Federation in London next week to see how we can move things along in terms of me being an ambassador, and if I can make any difference at all, then I'm more than happy to do that."

Looking to shine

And as for the race itself, Dowsett is hopeful Team Sky can give a good account of themselves during the five days of action and expects the seven-man squad to be competitive in every stage.

"We've got a good team out here which has a good mix of riders. Russell [Downing] and Ben [Swift] will be going for the three sprint stages and then we've got Morris [Possoni], Chris [Froome] and Dario [Cioni] for those hillier days as well.

"Hopefully I can give the time trial a good go on Saturday. The course should suit me because it's pan-flat, 11.2km long, and doesn't have any major twists and turns along the way. I just hope I can stay fresh because at the Criterium International I didn't back up as well as the other guys and I think that's just down to inexperience on my part. If I can do that though, I'd like to think I'll be able to get stuck in and ride well against guys like Alberto Contador."

For more information on World Haemophilia Day, visit their website by clicking HERE

User comments (1)

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Wayne Hodgson says...

What do I have to do to get a sky kit

Posted 17:57 13th April 2011

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