Australian time trial star Rohan Dennis has joined Team Ineos for 2020.
A post by the team on Monday revealed the news and included a video interview with Dennis.
“It’s been a dream team for me since what would have been about 2012,” he said. “I’m really excited to start with the team.”
Dennis has been out of contract since his time at Bahrain-Merida ended prematurely in September.
The 29-year-old abandoned the Tour de France midway through stage 12 without explanation. He then disappeared from the world’s radar, until he blazed his way to victory at the time trial world championships in September. Despite still being on the Bahrain-Merida roster, Dennis rode to world championship victory on an unbranded BMC bike, and days later, made no attempt to hide the identity of the BMC bike he used for the road race.
Just days after the world championships, Bahrain-Merida terminated the Australian’s contract one year early, ending months of alleged bad relations between Dennis and the team. Dennis had long been rumored to be dissatisfied with the team’s skinsuits and Merida bikes.
“The technology side of things…. it’s about how precise the team [Ineos] has been over the years,” said Dennis. “They’ve got that track background, so we’ve got the similarity in that sense. And innovation in working with the best possible products on the market and available to us, and that’s something I’m really passionate about, especially when it comes to time trialing.”
Dennis will be joining a team packed with GC stars, including Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, and Egan Bernal. Though Dennis is unlikely to win a grand tour any time soon, he has shown potential in seven-day races, placing second in this year’s Tour de Suisse.
Dennis discusses riding the Giro d’Italia in 2020, which packs three-time trials. As well as targeting those stages, he would work in support of the team’s leader. Dennis’s main goal for 2020 will be the Tokyo Olympics however.
“Personally, the Olympics is my biggest goal for 2020,” he said.
Dennis placed fifth in the 2016 Rio Olympic time trial after being forced to change bikes mid-way due to a broken handlebar. Fabian Cancellara went on to take the win, leaving Dennis to wonder what could have been.
“I had an unfortunate event in Rio which stopped me from medalling,” Dennis said. “I want to prove that I should have been on that podium…. I want a gold medal.”
The full interview with Dennis is attached to the below tweet from the team.
Welcome to the team @RohanDennis!
Watch the world time trial champion’s first interview after signing a two-year deal with @TeamINEOS.
— Team INEOS (@TeamINEOS) December 9, 2019