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Alex Dowsett just posted an outrageously fast Ironman bike leg

This is what happens when a time-trial specialist does triathlon

Robyn Davidson
6 Jun 2022

Alex Dowsett just posted an extraordinary Strava file for the bike leg of the Sub7Sub8 event. 

Labelled as triathlon’s ‘most-hyped’ event of the year so far, Sub7Sub8 saw two male athletes attempt to become the first ever to go under seven hours for an Ironman distance as two women attempted to go under eight. 

Spoiler: they all did. 

Dowsett was approached to be a ‘pacer’ to help Joe Skipper on race day with the aim of a 3:20 bike leg (average 54kmh) over 180km.

Teams can have a maximum of 10 pacers across thee three discplines of swimming, cycling and running. Also included for the cycling leg were the engines of Dan Bigham, Harry Tanfield and John Archibald.

The six-time national champion Dowsett posted a blistering time of 3:16:07 over 180.5km. 

For (a slight) comparison, in the Verona time-trial that finished off the Giro d’Italia recently, he rode 17.4km in a relatively leisurely 27 minutes.

Dowsett’s Sub7 effort was a flat course, an initial 16.3km stretch taking them to the Test Oval, where they would then complete 27 laps. 

With an average speed of 34.3mph, Dowsett’s max cadence reached 110 rpm. 

During those three hours, he hit 659W to help his partner draft and recorded an average power of 331W, a pretty extraordinary figure for over three hours of riding. 

‘Team Skipper’ found themselves down five minutes against rival Kristian Blummenfelt at the start of the bike leg.

However they reduced the gap to just 40 seconds halfway through the 180km ride, and then found themselves passing Blummenfelt. 

Blummenfelt, the reigning Ironman and Olympic champion, eventually finished Sub7Sub8 with a time of 6h 44min 25sec. Skipper finished just over three minutes behind. 

Somewhere, on a race track in northeast Germany, I’m sure Dowsett is still riding.

Main image via Getty.

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