Rohan Dennis consolidated his place among the greatest Australian road cyclists with the biggest win of his career, routing the world championships time trial field by 81 seconds in Austria on Wednesday.
Dennis, a 28-year-old from Adelaide, conquered the 32-mile course with one significant climb in 1 hour, 3 minutes, 2.57 seconds. He unseated 2017 World champion Tom Dumoulin, the runner-up at this year’s Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.
“It’s a dream come true,” said Dennis, who was fifth in Rio, missing a medal by eight seconds, after having to change bikes due to a broken handlebar. “I’ve been chasing this since I was a junior. I’ve never won it in any age group.”
The Dutchman Dumoulin finished second Wednesday. Belgian Victor Campenaerts took third. Full results are here.
Dennis won by a margin that conjures the dominance of Swiss Fabian Cancellara, who won the first of his four rainbow jerseys by 90 seconds over American David Zabriskie in 2006.
Dennis became the third Australian man to win an elite individual world title. Michael Rogers took three straight time trials from 2003-05. Cadel Evans, the only Aussie to win a Grand Tour at the 2011 Tour de France, took road race gold in 2009.
Dennis has won individual time trials at all three Grand Tours and held the hour record for two months in 2015.
All this after a decorated track cycling career, including a 2012 Olympic team pursuit silver medal and a pair of world titles in that discipline. Dennis’ best Grand Tour finish was 16th in the Giro d’Italia in May.
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