Dennis Runner-Up In Paris-Nice Prologue8. March 2015 — Road Team
World hour record holder Rohan Dennis of the BMC Racing Team was edged out by 0.31 seconds in Sunday's prologue at Paris-Nice. (©Tim De Waele/TDWsport)
Dennis finished runner-up to world road champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Etixx-Quick Step). After starting 55th of 160 riders, he was 20 seconds faster than anyone else to that point when he piloted his BMC timemachine TM01 to a time of 7 minutes and 40 seconds on the 6.7-kilometer course. But Kwiatkowski, the 16th rider-from-last to start, pushed Dennis into the BMC Racing Team's ninth second-place result of the year.
BMC Racing Team Sport Director Yvon Ledanois said missing out on a win by fractions of a second was "the worst result."
"I think this would have been an important victory for the team today," Ledanois said. "Rohan and Tejay van Garderen and all the guys did a good job. But for the team, it is the worst result. If you have three, four or five seconds between first and second, that's OK. But we wanted this victory. So it is a big disappointment."
Kwiatkowski's teammate, German national time trial champion Tony Martin, finished third, seven seconds off the winning time.
Dennis said he had personal goals to do well on the first and last stages of the race – both individual time trials – in his first major race since setting the world hour record at 52.491 kilometers Feb. 8 at Velodrome Suisse. He was also looking to add to his stage win and overall title at the Santos Tour Down Under that earned him the No. 1 ranking in the WorldTour standings in January.
"The goal the rest of the week is to try and find my legs and do as well as I possibly can for the team," Dennis said. "I am pretty sure Tejay has some good form after Oman. He has been looking at this race for awhile now."
Van Garderen finished 11th, 14 seconds back, and said he was pleased with his result in his first outing since finishing runner-up at the Tour of Oman last month.
"I think today was a success," van Garderen said. "I feel bad for Rohan, missing out on such a narrow victory. That would have been a nice win for him. But as far as both of us are placed, we are right there with some of the GC (general classification) guys and we even put a lot of time into some of the contenders."
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