The Australian has taken the first world champion’s jersey of his career, beating the defending champion Tom Dumoulin by a staggering 81 seconds. Dennis passed two riders while speeding towards the finish line, averaging 49.6 kph. He did the 52.5-kilometre course in just 1 hour 3 minutes and 2 seconds.
“It’s a dream come true to be the world champion. I’ve been chasing this since I was a junior. I’ve never won it in any age group. I’ll enjoy the next year in the rainbow jersey for sure,” Dennis said to the reporters.
Knowing the power Dumoulin used in the team time trial, the Australian knew exactly how much he had to push on the vicious climb 20 km from the finish line.
“I knew that Tom rode the front of the team time trial and he was pushing pretty hard so I had a fairly good idea of what power I needed to hold. I think I was 35 seconds in front at the bottom and when I got to the top, I was fairly confident that I had at least done the same time as him.”
The Australian was so sure he was faster than the Dutchman that he even considered a victory salute. However, he didn’t want to ruin his first shot at a rainbow jersey, so in the end, he held back.
“I can only win against Dennis if I am in top shape. The top form was not there today,” Dumoulin admitted in an interview for the NOS television.
Dumoulin was in fact lucky to have finished second as he clocked a time which was only half a second quicker than that of Victor Campenaerts. The Belgian, however, didn’t mind at all. “What a way to end my season! Can’t describe how happy I am to be on this podium!” he wrote on his Instagram.
1. Rohan Dennis (Australia) 1:03:45.53
2. Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) +1:21.09
3. Victor Campenaerts (Belgium) +1:21.62
4. Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland) +2:04.58
5. Nelson Oliveira (Portugal) +2:14.34
6. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spain) +2:17.53
7. Tony Martin (Germany) +2:25.23
8. Patrick Bevin (New Zealand) +2:34.78
9. Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) +3:07.54
10. Martin Toft Madsen (Denmark) +3:23.39