Australian time trial ace Rohan Dennis (BMC) won stage 7 of Tirreno-Adriatico Tuesday, and Team Sky’s Michal Kwiatkowski defended the blue leader’s jersey to win the overall in San Benedetto del Tronto, Italy.

Dennis, 27, rode early in the order, before the weather turned, giving him the advantage of a dry course.

“I was very nervous when I was warming up because it was raining,” said Kwiatkowski I was scared that something would go wrong and I’d have to go a bit slower in the corners.”

Although Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo) came close, the Dutchman had to settle for second place, four seconds behind Dennis’s time of 11:14 on the 10.05km course.

“I was nervous about it. I was looking at the best times on this course thinking OK 11:20 to aim for,” said Dennis. “I’m just happy I won today. Its a good confidence boost going forward.”

Jonathan Castroviejo rounded out the day’s podium in third, nine seconds behind on the flat route.

Kwiatkowski won the overall by a comfortable 24-second margin over Dennis’s BMC teammate Damiano Caruso. Thanks to a strong stage 1 team time trial, which his squad won, Caruso was within striking distance of the overall for the entire week-long race.

Thomas, also riding for Sky, was third overall, 32 seconds behind his Polish teammate.

Top 10, stage 7

1. Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing), in 11:14
2. Jos van Emden (LottoNL-Jumbo), at :04
3. Jonathan Castroviejo (Team Sky) at :08
4. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) at :08
5. Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) at :12
6. Michael Hepburn (Mitchelton-Scott) at :13
7. Jack Bauer (Mitchelton-Scott) at :13
8. Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott) at :17
9. Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) at :18
10. Vasil Kiryienka (Team Sky) at :18

Top-10 overall

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), in 25:32:56
2. Damiano Caruso (BMC Racing) at :24
3. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) at :32
4. Tiesj Benoot (LottoNL-Jumbo), at 1:08
5. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), at 1:10
6. Mikel Landa (Movistar), at 1:13
7. Davide Formolo (Bora-Hansgrohe), at 1:15
8. Jaime Roson (Movistar), at 1:15
9. George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo), at 1:16
10. Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac), at 1:22