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Rohan Dennis pipped to Australian time trial title on Team Ineos debut

Joe Robinson
8 Jan 2020

Mithelton-Scott's Luke Dubridge defends title in impressive fashion

Rohan Dennis kickstarted his Team Ineos career by finishing second behind Mitchelton-Scott's Luke Durbridge at the Australian time trial National Championships in Ballarat, Victoria.

The World Champion was pipped to the title for the second year running by Durbridge, who covered the 37.5km course in a time of 46 minutes 19 seconds.

Durbridge managed to find 18 seconds on Dennis across the course, taking his fourth career national time trial title.

This came after a tight race on a course that saw the two riders separated by just three-tenths of a second at the halfway time check. Durbridge, however, was able to take it up a gear in the final stages to eventually cross the line with an emphatic victory.

New Jumbo-Visma signing Chris Harper completed the podium, albeit in a time 1 minute 52 seconds adrift of Durbridge, to complete an all-WorldTour top three.

In the women's event, 19-year-old Sarah Gigante of Tibco-SVB powered to an impressive win in the elite and under-23 categories to beat WorldTour riders Grace Brown and Amanda Spratt to a first elite title.

Gigante beat Brown by nine seconds on the rolling 28.6km course with Emily Herfoss rounding off the podium just one second down on Brown. World Championships bronze medalist Spratt finishing a further 31 seconds adrift.

These time trial results are the first taste of major racing news since the turn of the New Year. Next up will be women's and men's Tour Down Under stage races taking place in Adelaide, starting on the 16th and 21st January respectively. 

However, the running of those races has been questioned by certain parts of the cycling community considering the current wildfire crisis gripping much of Australia.

Since starting in September, the fires have claimed the lives of 25 people and hundreds of millions of animals, destroying 2,000 homes in the process.