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Page last updated at 09:06 GMT, Friday, 4 February 2011

Essex cyclist Alex Dowsett ready for Team Sky debut

Alex Dowsett
Dowsett won the under 23 European Time Trial Championship in 2010

Essex cyclist Alex Dowsett will make his debut for Team Sky in the Tour of Qatar which starts on the Sunday.

The Commonwealth Games silver medallist is one of a number of new riders in Team Sky's ranks this year.

Dowsett told BBC Essex: "Qatar's notorious for being a very flat race, but you get a lot of wind, which plays havoc with bike racing.

"We're looking at Jeremy Hunt or Russell Downing to either win stages or the overall classification."

Dowsett, who is from Cock Clarks, near Maldon, is not expecting conditions to be too hot in the Middle-East.

He added: "They put the Tour of Qatar in this two-week block where it transcends from winter to summer, so it makes conditions quite pleasant.

"The heat is going to be an issue, but it shouldn't be too unbearable."

Dowsett took part in a training camp in Majorca as part of his preparation for his first professional season.

He added: "It is a step up, but whilst the camps were hard I didn't struggle, so I think I've settled in well so far.

"I know what I need to do and the team is really good to me, it's quite a relaxed environment."

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