Dennis Runner-Up In National Time Trial8. January 2015 — Road Team
Rohan Dennis of the BMC Racing Team finished runner-up to Richie Porte (Team Sky) Thursday in the individual time trial at the MARS Cycling Australia Road National Championships.
Fastest Time At The Halfway Point
Porte took the win in the 40.9-kilometer race in a time of 51 minutes and 50 seconds, 7.1 seconds ahead of Dennis. Jack Bobridge (Team Budget Forklifts) finished third, 26.8 seconds back. Dennis said he tried to gauge his effort to save energy for the return leg of the out-and-back course. "Probably with about 10 kilometers to go, I started to really feel it," he said. "My power was still good and I thought I had conserved enough energy, but probably not enough. I still believe I held it, power-wise, over the hills. It was just in between the hills where I was struggling." At the halfway point of the race that was dampened by rain, Dennis led Bobridge by 25 seconds, with Porte a further seven seconds back. But BMC Racing Team Sporting Manager Allan Peiper said the return portion played to the strengths of the smaller, lighter Porte. "There was a main climb halfway through the course and coming back, they did it on the steep side," Peiper said. "It was there that Rohan said he dug too deep and got into oxygen deficit, which he never really recovered from. In the last five kilometers he was struggling because of that effort."
On Target For Hour Record Attempt
Dennis said he remains on track for his attempt to better the world hour record on Feb. 8 at the Velodrome Suisse in Grenchen, Switzerland. Much of his early-season training has been spent honing his form on his BMC timemachine TM01. "It was about a 52-minute effort today and my power levels were better than where they have been, so that is a good indication," he said. "I think with the road race on Sunday and then the Tour Down Under, it will take me to that next level where I need to be." Peiper said the BMC Racing Team is off to a strong start following a season that saw it finish second in the WorldTour standings and win 30 races for the second straight year. "We had Jesse Kerrison of the BMC Development Team get third in the Under 23 criterium on Wednesday and we had Rohan get second today in the time trial. So there is only one place left," he said. "Hopefully Sunday that is the one for us. That is the one we are shooting for."
Dennis's silver medal performance matched his career best in the individual time trial at nationals. Two years ago, he was runner-up to Luke Durbridge by 21 seconds … The BMC Racing Team's other competitor in the event, Campbell Flakemore, finished sixth. The reigning Under 23 world time trial champion was 1:46 off the winning time while making his first appearance for the BMC Racing Team … Cadel Evans will join Dennis and Flakemore for the 183.6-kilometer road race on Sunday. The silver medalist a year ago, Evans will be participating in his final national championship after announcing he will retire Feb. 1 to become an ambassador for BMC Switzerland.