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Rohan Dennis untouchable in individual time trial win at the World Championships

Joseph Delves
25 Sep 2019

Despite Primoz Roglic ruining his finish line photo, Rohan Dennis was still able to celebrate an emphatic win. Photos: SWPix.com

Rohan Dennis won the men’s elite time trial at the 2019 World Championships in Yorkshire in dominant fashion. The Australian rider beat youngsters Remco Evenepoel (Belgium) and Filippo Ganna (Italy) on a largely rain-free afternoon.

Covering a lengthy 54 kilometres from Northallerton to Harrogate, Dennis got around in 1:05:05, one minute and nine seconds ahead of his nearest rival. Thankfully the terrible weather that had beset previous events was mostly absent.

Setting off last, Dennis never looked in trouble, having been up at every split around the course. Riding a blacked-out BMC bike after falling out with his current Bahrain–Merida team, the result represents an emphatic return to form and a second consecutive title for the 29-year-old racer.

With Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome and Tom Dumoulin all absent, the race had looked to be one of the most open in recent years. Despite this, a strong field including dennis as defending champion, Hour Record holder Victor Campenaerts (Belgium), European champion Evenepoel, Vuelta a Espana winner Primoz Roglic (Slovenia) and multiple previous winner Tony Martin (German) were all thought to be in contention.

Among the first from this select group to go was much-hyped nineteen-year-old Belgian wunderkind Evenepoel. Consistently up at each of the early splits, he soon found himself in the virtual hot seat ahead of the favourites on course behind him. Of these Rogli  was the first to fall off the pace, putting in times significantly behind the other contenders.

As the rain started to spittle, Campenaerts was the next big name to be ruled out, having crashed and struggled with a bike change. Now with all rider either finished or on course, returning champion Dennis was the last to depart and soon overhauled the unfortunate Campenaerts.

Ahead of them all, Evenepoel was homing in on the finish. Ducking his head low and grimacing, yet holding both his form and overall speed, he went into the hot seat. However, despite Evenepoel being de facto leader, out on the road Dennis was holding around a minute over the youngster.

Seeing the times Dennis was posting, Evenepoel was left blowing out his cheeks in incredulity. Eventually displaced by over a minute, Italian Ganna finished in third.

British riders Alex Dowsett and John Archibald both put in decent showings. Setting off among the first riders, Archibald occupied the hot seat for a chunk of the afternoon, much to the delight of home fans. He was eventually displaced by Australian Luke Durbridge and ended up in 13th.

Dowsett managed even better to slot into the leaderboard ahead of Durbridge before slipping back to finish in an excellent fifth place.