It's Dennis the Menace as Rohan Returns
Rohan Dennis silenced all his critics with a ride full of conviction in today's Men Elite Individual Time Trial to make it back to back world championships for the Australian.
A drier day in Yorkshire, saw the Elite Men take to the time trial course set over a distance of 54km from Northallerton to Harrogate.
The crowd in the start town was something to be remarked, as fans lined the streets to cheer on some of the world’s best riders off the ramp ahead of a challenging day’s racing.
The early time was set by a rider that Tour de Yorkshire fans will be very familiar with thanks to his third-place finish in the race this year, Eddy Dunbar of Ireland. He set a time that would be overtaken by British rider John Archibald, who would then see Luke Durbridge of Australia dethrone him, before Britain took back the lead after a very strong ride from Alex Dowsett.
Dowsett would spend some time in the hotseat but it was eventual bronze medallist Filippo Ganna of Italy who would take over his spot and, despite the early juggling of the lead, this would stand until the two favourites raced into Harrogate.
UCI hour record holder Victor Campenaerts did have high hopes going into the race, but after a crash and two bike changes along the route, the Belgian could only manage eleventh place – however, considering the hardships he faced on the course, this is a more than respectable position.
The two real stories of the day came from the two riders of whom storylines were expected, Remco Evenepoel and Rohan Dennis.
Just a year removed from the junior level in which he took both the road race and the time trial, 19-year-old Remco Evenepoel came into the elite event and gave a fantastic account of himself, only losing out thanks to a masterclass from Rohan Dennis. On any other day, Evenepoel would have destroyed the field, which says a lot about just how bright this young Belgian’s future truly is.
However, despite all of the stellar efforts seen before him, the day belongs to Australia’s Rohan Dennis.
It’s unusual that the reigning champion in a race such as this would come into the event as an unknown entity, however after dropping out of the Tour de France back in July, and not taking to the road in a professional setting since, it was unclear as to how in-form the world champion would be. The answer came pretty quickly. At the top of his game.
Fastest at every intermediate time split, Rohan Dennis put on a show for the rows of fans lining the route and, despite twelfth place finisher Primoz Roglic trying his best to ruin the party on the way to the finish by racing alongside, nothing would take away from the Australian’s celebrations as he raced past the line arms aloft, to rapturous applause; before embracing his wife and child.