INNSBRUCK, Austria (AFP) — Rohan Dennis beat favorite Tom Dumoulin at the world individual time trial championships on Wednesday, with the Australian lifting his bike aloft in triumph at the finish line.
Dennis completed the 52.1km course around Innsbruck in 1:03:02. The Dutchman Dumoulin was a distant 1:21 behind in a race that had been billed as a duel between the two.
The bronze medal went to Victor Campenaerts, of Belgium, who was a fraction of a second behind the 2017 world TT champ Dumoulin.
Dennis, who has won time trials and worn the leader’s jersey at all three grand tours, said that earning the right to wear the world champion’s rainbow jersey for a year was a dream come true.
“I have been targeting this since I was a junior and it’s absolutely amazing, a dream come true,” he said.
“At the hill, Brad McGee was coaching me,” said Dennis of the tough 5km climb at the 30km mark which was his major challenge.
“He was mainly trying to keep me calm because I was so nervous about the climb.
“And as soon as I got to the top I knew I could get a time at the very least as fast as he [Dumoulin] did.”
Dennis never let up, hitting speeds of almost 90kph on the narrow descent of the day’s climb, where he overtook Spanish time-trial specialist Jonathan Castroviejo.
The tactic paid off handsomely for the Australian, who has just signed a deal to join the Bahrain-Merida team led by Italy’s former Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali.
Adelaide native Dennis, a former holder of the hour record, has won the Australian time trial championship for the past three years.
“I’d like to thank all the folks back home in Australia, especially my wife, I’m sure she’s smiling now,” said Dennis.
“I’m going to relax and enjoy wearing this rainbow jersey.”
Dumoulin, who won the Giro d’Italia in 2017 before claiming worlds time trial victory for the first time, looked ashen at the finish, but was smiling again by the time he got to the podium and warmly congratulated the winner.
Having pushed hard in the team event on Sunday, the Dutchman appeared not to have fully recovered from his efforts.
“I felt bad from the first kilometer,” said Dumoulin, who also finished runner-up in both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France earlier this year.
“I was feeling good on Sunday but here I understood quickly I wasn’t going to win. When I got off the bike at the end I felt like and old man.”
Dennis added: “I’m not that surprised because I knew he had pushed hard in the team time-trial by riding a lot at the front.”
World Championships - ITT Stage 1 (ITT) Results
|8||BEVIN Patrick||New Zealand||2:34|
|10||MADSEN Martin Toft||Denmark||3:23|
|14||BÁRTA Jan||Czech Republic||4:08|
|15||ROSSKOPF Joey||United States||4:20|
|18||KRAGH ANDERSEN Søren||Denmark||4:28|
|19||VAN EMDEN Jos||Netherlands||4:33|
|24||ČERNÝ Josef||Czech Republic||4:49|
|25||BOND Hamish||New Zealand||4:50|
|27||VAN GARDEREN Tejay||United States||4:53|
|28||DE MARCHI Alessandro||Italy||5:05|
|29||DOWSETT Alex||Great Britain||5:24|
|35||GEOGHEGAN HART Tao||Great Britain||6:03|
|50||DE PLUS Laurens||Belgium||8:14|
|53||WAIS Ahmad Badreddin||Syria||15:30|
|54||ARIF PRAYOGO Dealton Nur||Indonesia||17:33|
|55||CHIU Ho San||Hongkong||18:05|
|56||CHRISTOPHER Darel||Virgin Islands||28:41|
Results provided by ProCyclingStats.