Q&A with Rohan Dennis; Sir Wiggins, Cadel Evans and What’s Next
At only 24 years of age, Rohan Dennis is the new star of the peloton. We caught up with him just after he broke the UCI Hour Record on the 8th of February to get to know him a bit better….
Rohan, how does it feel to be the current World Hour Record Holder? It honestly doesn't feel like I am the current World Hour Record holder. Sometimes it hits me what I have achieved but most of the time I just carry on with my everyday life like I did before.
Can you describe what was going through your head during that hour? At which point did you know you had it in the bag? A whole lot of nothing I think that Brad has the best chance out of anyone to break my current recordwas going through my head for the first half of the hour record. I would do the same thing lap in lap out and check my lap time then adjust the pressure on the pedals as needed. The last 15 minutes I was just wishing for time to go quicker.
How do you feel about Sir Wiggins’ announcement to challenge your existing record? Do you think he has what it takes?
If he does he does and I will just have to try and get it back later in my career. What was the recovery from the exertion like?
How many days did it take before you actually enjoyed getting back on the bike?
I had 3 days off the bike but I honestly have felt worse before. It is painful but a week long tour or grand tour hurts the muscles a little bit more.
Did you have exactly the same positon on your BMC bike at the UCI Hour Record as at the World time trial championships?
I used the exact same position on my BMC TR01 as I have on my TM01 on the road.
Last august you transferred to the BMC Racing Team, What attracted you to BMC?
The very strict and structured approach by the team attracted meThe very strict and structured approach by the team attracted me. I also wanted to rejoin with Peiper again, he was one of the reasons I signed with Garmin and unfortunately left before I got to work with him.
Since then you have won Team Time Trial World Championships, came fifth in the Individual TT World Championships, won the Tour Down Under and you set the new UCI Hour Record. Is it a mere co-incidence that you happened to be so successful or do you believe the team switch had something to do with it?
The team, I believe, has a lot to do with my success. They have backed me in with every one of my goals since I have signed.
You spent a little time on the BMC Racing Team with Cadel as a teammate. How did it feel to race alongside him in his last World Tour race at the Tour Down Under?
It was an honour racing with Cadel in his last World Tour race. But, I can't be compared to Cadel, he is in a league of his ownIt was an honour racing with Cadel in his last World Tour race. But, I can't be compared to Cadel, he is in a league of his own and isn't fair on his achievements to say that I am or I'm going to be the next Cadel.
Did you have an idol when you were young?
My idol was actually Kieren Perkins as I came from a swimming background and always remembered him winning Gold from lane 8 in the 1500m freestyle.
If you wouldn’t have become a pro cyclist, what would you do today?
I always had an interest in architecture and designing homes. So, probably something along those lines. You split your time between Australia and your European base, Girona.
Who do you ride with when you are living in Girona?
How is your Catalan coming along? I very rarely spend time in Australia. At this stage of my career it has been the off season and leading into Tour Down Under when I'm in Australia. I generally also train alone as I've got a lot of specific efforts I have to do and when I'm with others riding I find I'm actually never riding with them. My Catalan is still coming along as well
What do you miss the most when you are away from Australia?
I have made Europe my home and it does feel like home nowI miss understanding everything people say. Other than that I have made Europe my home and it does feel like home now.
Your girlfriend Mel, is also a professional cyclist.What’s that like? How and where did you meet and how long have you been together?
Mel and I met through the Australian track team. It's great having her in cycling as well as she understands the pressures I go through. Sometimes it's a bit hard with the time apart but we have our ways of dealing with those long periods of time apart.
What is your main goal for the 2015 season?
I've already achieved most of my goals for the season, a bit quicker than expected as well. My goals for the season were to podium in a World Tour race or stage race, break the Hour Record, start the TDF and finish, TTT worlds and medal in the ITT at worlds.I would still like to podium in a European World Tour race though, to prove I'm not a one hit wonderObviously I would still like to podium in a European World Tour race though, to prove I'm not a one hit wonder.
Your palmarés are already quite impressive, what result you are most proud of?
I am most proud of my Tour Down Under and the TTT Worlds result last year. Both are equal and special in their own way.
What is your favourite race and why?
My favourite race to watch is Roubaix because of how unpredictable it is but for me to win - it has to be the Tour De France. Nothing could possibly top that.