Pro rider is working with Sigma Sport on a London hub for the service

INTERVIEW: Alex Dowsett on his new Cyclism project

There’s no shortage of accolades accumulated by Movistar Team rider Alex Dowsett.

Now the former World Hour Record Holder and current National TT Champion has launched Cyclism – offering coaching, support and services to riders, from experienced pros.

The first Cyclism London hub has been set up at Sigma Sport, where one-to-one coaching and consultation sessions, bike fitting, physiological testing services and more will be offered.

BikeBiz caught up with the busy Dowsett (who is appearing at this weekend’s London Bike Show) shortly after the launch…

How long has Cyclism been in the making? Why did you launch it?
I decided to start Cyclism after realising there is a lack of support out there for people to achieve their potential. On top of this there weren’t any cycling companies that could offer a number of different services all under one roof. I wanted to be able to offer riders not just coaching, support and testing but also the chance to become part of something through our membership scheme, our cycling club, the events we run for all levels of cyclist, our training camps in Italy and our bespoke services. I also really wanted to invest in young riders as my sponsors in my younger days did for me and am hoping to launch a Cyclism Youth Academy to help mentor and support young riders. 

One of the most important parts of Cyclism is coaching and I have realised that the support, knowledge and guidance I’ve been lucky enough to have throughout my career I take for granted somewhat. I wanted to set up a coaching and testing service which offers World Tour level support to everyone regardless of their ability. I would be happy to have any of the Cyclism team support me in my personal career at my level, and it’s that level of professionalism that I wanted to offer everyone.

It’s been a year in the making and has been very exciting. We’re already coaching a range of cyclists who are all undertaking different challenges, from the Amstel Gold sportive, a racer achieving a 2nd cat licence and another rider in rehabilitation post surgery. Our ethos is to offer the best we can to everyone and to engage more people in cycling.

Are there plans to open hubs elsewhere in the country?
Absolutely, but we are in no rush. For us it’s all about being able to give the best experience possible, offering unique training programmes. That personalisation is what we’re about. We’ve fantastic partners – Wattbike, SigmaSport, Pedalsure, Cyclissimo and Canyon Bikes – and we are doing very exciting things with them. We have been mindful to grow the company using word of mouth, achieving people’s goals and race results are testament to our progress. Slow and steady wins the race and all that!

Why Sigma Sport?
It’s simply one of the best bike shops in the country, and really echoed our professional ethos. When we sat down to discuss working together it was a meeting where you came away and it felt like we’d found a perfect partner, one of those gut feelings. And the coffee was good, that always helps!

People love hanging out in bike shops, I know I’m guilty of it, its proximity to London and to Richmond Park is a huge benefit as well. Plus it’s a shop where a complete novice can walk in with nothing and then walk out an hour later without having to wait for anything to be ordered in, and that’s quite rare for a bike shop.

What are your hopes for Cyclism for the next five years?
That’s the million dollar question. We’d like to see some good growth but most important to us is that everyone that we have worked with feels like they are well looked after and has enjoyed a great experience with support in every aspect of their cycling. We are opening up different sectors of Cyclism, for example an exclusive membership package, we will be investing in women cycling and women-only coaching days and also that youth academy is in the pipeline and is something I’m personally eager to implement potentially as soon the 2017 season. We also will be launching athlete management, events and team car rental as well so it’s all very exciting.

Shop view
Sigma Sport’s retail director Jason Turner told BikeBiz: “Holly Noble (one of Cyclism’s founders) contacted me after getting our details from Alex. Alex had done a book signing and Q&A in the store back in 2013 so I guess the store left a good impression on him. 

“Noble said they were keen to work with someone that has a strong reputation within the cycling community plus we have good facilities at the store including a meeting room, bike fit studio and sports treatment room.

“Essentially they wanted a London base which they could use to meet their clients and a place to carry out consultations and some fitness testing, something we were able to facilitate.”

“Alex has been very much in attendance with the launch, the ride and has been to the store a number of times. They are really keen to make Cyclism and its partnership with us a great success… as we are too.”

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