Rohan Dennis proved that he was the fastest man against the clock on stage 2 of the Eneco Tour when he smashed the 9.6km individual time trial to win the stage and take the leader’s jersey.
Dennis was one of the early starters and was the first rider to go under 11 minutes, clocking 10’48” on the line to set the time to beat for the next three hours of racing.
With the course being completely flat it was the perfect time trial for the current Australian national time trial champion, who beat Jos Van Emden (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) by five seconds and was 14 seconds in front of Jasha Sutterlin (Movistar Team).
Dennis leads the general classification by five seconds over Van Emden and 13 seconds over Peter Sagan (Tinkoff).
Taylor Phinney put in a fast ride to clock the seventh-fastest time and Tom Bohli and Stefan Küng cracked the top 20 in 15th and 19th place respectively.
Dennis’ win is his third time trial win of the season and first UCI WorldTour stage win for 2016.
The Winner’s Interview with Rohan Dennis
It was an impressive win today, how would you describe your time trial?
“From what I saw from my side, it was as close to perfection in a time trial. I took all the risks and kind of crossed my fingers ever time I went through a corner. But it worked out. Today was as quick as I could go.”
You’ve now put yourself into the overall lead. Is the GC your main objective for the race?
“It’s great to win a stage and even better to take the lead. It’s going to put pressure on the team to perform every day but we’re here to win with either myself or Greg Van Avermaet. The team time trial will be another big day for the GC, so it’s just about making sure we all stay up front and don’t lose time each day. I think the Limburg stage and the final stage are also big concerns for the GC.”
Instead of chasing a minute man, Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky) missed his start and was just 20 seconds in front of you. How was this for you?
“Kiryienka missing that start time helped me a little in a way. He’s a class time trailer, he’s World Champion, but he started about 20 seconds in front of me. It gave me a little carrot you could say to chase until about 1km to go. When he went 40 seconds late he still went hard so that was a good guide to how well I was going.”
This is your third time trial win this year. Does it give you confidence for the UCI World Championships?
“Today’s performance was good for confidence when it comes to Qatar. I was a little bit worried before coming here. I thought that maybe because I’ve lost weight since Rio, maybe I’ve lost that raw power that I had when I was a couple of kilograms heavier. It’s flat, there’s corners here in the time trial and it was all about who had the most power today so that’s a good indication for Qatar, considering that’s going to be 100% flat.”
Eneco Tour (2.UWT)
Stage 2 ITT (9.6km)
Top 3: Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team), Jos Van Emden (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), Jasha Sutterlin (Movistar Team).