Rohan Dennis has kicked the 2016 season off in winning form, taking out the Individual Time Trial at the Australian Road National Championships.
Dennis set a blistering pace to storm home in 51:13, 38 seconds ahead of Richie Porte, who made his debut for BMC Racing Team, with Sean Lake in third.
The green and gold jersey is a dream come true for Dennis.
„It’s always a dream to win the Aussie nationals. I’ve won the Under 23’s and now I’ve got a senior medal. To be able to wear the green and gold in every time trial this year is a true honor. We can have a bit of a celebration tonight and say job well-done for Thursday. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best at whatever I aim to be at, so the time trial at Rio is my big goal for this year.“
Runner-up Porte was happy with the result in his first race for the team.
„It was more of a relaxed start to the year but I’m happy to be on the podium to be honest and I’m not surprised that Rohan has taken this win. He deserves it, he’s hungry and I know how much he’s wanted that national jersey. We’re teammates now so I’m thrilled to see him win. I’ve been waiting to put the colours on and I’m happy. It’s a great team and I’m really looking forward to 2016. To be a month into the season and to finish second to a class time trialist like Rohan is a great way to start the season.“
BMC Racing Team Sports Director, Marco Pinotti, said the result could not have been better.
„It was a perfect start to the season. I’m happy for Rohan because he did better than last year so he has improved one year on and is getting stronger, and I’m happy for Richie because he hasn’t raced since the Tour de France and he did as well as last year. The course was very demanding a quite a long time trial for this time of the year.“
Looking towards the road race
Pinotti said today’s result bodes well ahead of the road race on Sunday.
„The result is a confidence boost for Sunday. The road race will be more of a lottery but we have two strong guys in the field.“
„Richie and I are strong, 1-2 in the time trial so I’m sure we can play a good card and hopefully take another green and gold,“ Dennis said.