Finally Dennis stands tall on cycling's world stage
02 Oct 2018
WORLD champion will be the deserved tag which Rohan Dennis will carry for at least the next 12 months after a stunning result at cycling's UCI World Championship in Innsbruck, Austria.
Dennis, 28, set a scorching pace to blitz his opposition to win the 52.5km time trial, beating Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, who finished second, by one minute, 21.09 seconds and Belgian Victor Campenaerts a further 53 seconds behind in third place.
Victory for Dennis, his first world title at any level on the road, was a top reward for him after years of bad luck which included injuries, accidents and gear problems among other mishaps, says SASI development coach and mate James Glasspool.
"This is really a big monkey off his back," Glasspool said.
"In the lead up to this event his form was really good. He knew he was in good shape.
"That was the icing on the cake and he just needed a bit of luck.
"Everything went to plan. He is now a world champion and will carry the prestige of being a world champion for at least the next 12 months.
"It just shows his perseverance and a great example for out TID program - a world title is the biggest achievement an athlete can have."
Dennis carried excellent form into Innsbruck with time trial victories at the Gira d'Italia, Tirreno Adriatico and Abu Dhabi Tour this year after winning his third consecutive national title in January this year.
During an on-road interview, shortly after his success, Dennis said he was thrilled with his world title.
"It's a dream come true obviously becoming world chanmpion, I've been chasing this since I was a junior," Dennis said.
"I've never won it in any age group so to win it as a senior is pretty special."
Over the past five years Dennis had finished between fifth and 12th in the same event with crashes and equipment failure getting in the way of a higher finish.
Dennis has won two world titles on the track but last week's road success was his first on the world stage.
Off the field Dennis will have plenty to look forward to with his wife Melissa (Hoskins) who was a world champion before giving up professional cycling recently. The couple is expecting their first child next year.
Dennis also will join the ranks of his new team Bahrain-Merida (from BMC Racing Team) for next season and could line up again at the Tour Down Under which he won in 2015.
Follow SASI online