Top Five For South Australia’s Rohan Dennis In Men’s Time Trial

Just three days after winning the teams time trial world crown with professional outfit BMC, South Australia?s Rohan Dennis, 24, claimed a top five finish in the elite men?s time trial at the 2014 UCI Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain. The 2014 Commonwealth Games silver medallist Dennis finished just 17 second off the podium in the event won by Olympic champion Sir Bradley Wiggins (GBR). Triple reigning champion Tony Martin (GER) took silver and Tom Dumoulin (NED) bronze. ?Top five was a goal of mine, of course a medal would have been great, but in my second year, to get within about a minute of the win is huge,? said Dennis, who finished twelfth while on debut in the senior ranks in 2013. ?A great improvement from last year, so next year I am going to be even stronger hopefully.? 63 riders set out on the 47.1km rolling course, with the early benchmark changing frequently among the early starters. The fifth last starter of the day, Dennis posted the fifth best time of 13mins 38.86secs at the first time check, just 8.81secs off the fastest time of Martin (GER). Dennis improved his standings at the second check with the third fastest time after all riders had passed, 6.97secs behind Bradley Wiggins (GBR-26:43.65). Heading towards the final time check Dennis looked to be on target for a podium finish, however the pace of the first half and the undulating final section of the course proved tough with Dennis slipping to fourth 31seconds behind Wiggins’ time of 41mins 50.14secs. Dennis gave it everything to the line to post the second fastest time of 57mins 23.26secs, putting him in to the provisional silver medal position behind Kiryienka (BLR-57:13.44) by 10 seconds with four riders to finish. However Wiggins stormed home to claim the gold medal in a time of 56mins 25.52secs, with Martin (56:51.75) 26secs slower claiming silver and Dumoulin (57:06.16) clinching bronze 40secs back. ?The first half I felt pretty solid, but I think that the first half took its toll on the last couple of climbs,? said Dennis, who finished 57 seconds behind Wiggins. ?I started to lag a little bit, not so much on the climbs, but just after the top when I had to pick up the speed again. ?So I have something to work on.? It has been a tremendous season for Dennis who has found the podium in half a dozen of World Tour time trials in 2014 including the Tours of California, de Romandie and Switzerland. In a rare move, the 24-year-old switched teams mid-season, moving to BMC from Garmin-Sharp in early August. ?For me, my season overall has been absolutely awesome,? explained Dennis. ?Yes, I have had lots of second and thirds across the year, but they all disappeared after the team time trial win the other day. ?That was a highlight not just of the year, but of my career so far. ?To experience a world title in the seniors on the road is just an amazing experience. ?The change to BMC has been really easy actually, the team has been really patient with the transfer, not expecting too much performance wise. ?And when there is less pressure you tend to perform better and enjoy it more.? Senior men?s head coach Bradley McGee was encouraged by Dennis? performance. ?This is quite different to running second in other events, top five here is very encouraging and happy to see that Rohan can see that himself,? said McGee. ?He showed a lot of maturity today. The legs will come, the attitude is there. ?It is difficult to change team in the off season, but to do it mid year in the way he has, it is awesome. ?And to come away with TTT, he was a large contributor to that, is great for him.? McGee and Dennis now turn their attentions to Sunday?s road race where Dennis will form a formidable nine-man Australian team with Simon Clarke (Selby, VIC / Orica-GreenEDGE), Cadel Evans (Barwon Heads, VIC / BMC), Simon Gerrans (Jamieson, VIC / Orica-GreenEDGE), Adam Hansen (Edmonton, QLD / Lotto-Belisol), Heinrich Haussler (Inverell, NSW / IAM Cycling), Matt Hayman (Araluen, NSW / Orica-GreenEDGE), Michael Matthews (Farrer, ACT / Orica-GreenEDGE) and Rory Sutherland (Canberra, ACT / Tinkoff Bank Saxo-Bank). 2014 UCI Road World Championships: Men?s ITT Photo Gallery

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