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Rohan Dennis en route to a new hour record. Photo:...

Rohan Dennis sets world hour record of 52.491km

Rohan Dennis breaks the hour record set in 2014 by Matthias Brändle, covering 52.491km at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen

Rohan Dennis broke Matthias Brändle’s hour record on Sunday.

The BMC Racing rider covered 52.491km at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen to break the record of 51.852km set by Brändle last year in Aigle, Switzerland.

“I feel pretty tired but really really proud,” said the 24-year-old Australian, the 2011 world track pursuit champion, who credited his team for keeping the pressure to a minimum as he rode to the overall title in the Santos Tour Down Under.

“It almost feels too easy — but obviously it wasn’t,” he said. “Hopefully the record stands for a little while.”

German Jens Voigt was the first to break the record in September, also on the Velodrome Suisse. Brändle, only one month later, on October 30, set the new mark to beat.

His distance was expected to fall quickly, but an early challenge from Australian Jack Bobridge (Budget Forklifts) fell a half-kilometer short on January 31 in Melbourne, Australia.

Before Dennis set out on his mission, Brändle said he thought the young Aussie had a good chance to succeed where Bobridge had failed, and said his own ride since setting the record had been a wild one.

“I’m happy that I’ve been able to keep hold of the record for three months now,” he told VeloNews.

“It gave me a lot of publicity, and continues to do so. I helped me make a name for myself around the world and gained me respect in the peloton.”

Dennis’s record may have a short shelf life, too. Among the riders expected to have a go at it is champion time trialist and 2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins (Sky).

“Wiggins is the main rider to be able to beat me,” Dennis said. “There’s also (Thomas) Dekker. We have to see what the altitude in Mexico can bring.”