Rohan Dennis has stamped his authority on the Australian National Time Trial Championships with an impressive ride that saw the South Australian smash the 40.9km course and take his third consecutive win by 1:08.
Dennis lined up as the outright favorite and was joined on the podium by Richie Porte who claimed the bronze medal in his first time trial since the 2017 Tour de France.
Defending road race champion Miles Scotson clocked the fourth-fastest time on the day in what was a strong display from BMC Racing Team’s Australian trio in the first race of the 2018 season.
Dennis set the best time at every check point and eventually caught runner up Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott) before going on to cross the line alongside Scotson, who started two minutes ahead.
Dennis averaged 47.9km/hour, having covered the 40.9km out and back course in a blistering 51:14.
The Winner’s Interview with Rohan Dennis
Rohan, three championships in a row! How are you feeling?
“I’m pretty happy. It was obviously a different run in this year with regards to training. I’ve been in Europe a lot longer and the main concern for me was the heat and how I was going to cope today. So, I’m glad I handled it quite well and came home with the win.”
How important is it for you to wear the green and gold skinsuit?
“It’s more of a pride thing. To come here, win it and wear the jersey for the rest of the year is an honor. It’s hard to win as you see with guys like Richie Porte, Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott) and Miles Scotson, who is up and coming and improving every year. So, it’s not easy to win. It’s stressful but as I said, it’s more the pride and honor of wearing it.”
How did the race play out?
“I held on for longer and didn’t blow out as much as what I would normally do. I was told to go out a bit easier this year but in the end, I feel it out. I actually just seemed to be able to hold myself, and compose myself, until 5km to go, instead of suffering with 10km to go, and sit pretty comfortably. I did a few extra things to keep cooler out there. It’s never a bad thing [to catch the rider in front] but I still didn’t know how Richie was going. I heard at one stage that I was a minute up on him but then I heard nothing. But, I was confident with the power I was holding.”
What are your thoughts ahead of the road race?
“We have Richie Porte, Simon Gerrans and defending champion Miles Scotson so I’m not sure what our plan is at the moment. I wanted to come here and have a good hit out before the Santos Tour Down Under. Hopefully this year I’ll actually finish the road race! We’re lacking numbers compared to other teams but we have the quality.”
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I have to be happy with that. Obviously, it’s been a long time since I really raced hard and today was such a hard day. It’s a hard course at the best of times but with that heat, it was a nice little hit out. The podium was the big goal and it was a good result for me. To finish third to Rohan Dennis, who is absolutely flying, and Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott), is not a bad podium. Miles Scotson was up there as well. I’ve really enjoyed the past two months, being fit and healthy, and now getting results in January. In cycling, you are only as good as your last performance. The time trial was a good show of form for us going into the road race on Sunday and I’m looking forward to racing with Simon Gerrans instead of against him.”