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by Mark Zalewski
January 6, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Katrin Garfoot delivers emphatic win to defend women’s Australian time trial title; Rohan Dennis wins his second consecutive Australian time trial title; British Cycling warned about relationship with Team Sky; Madiot backs Lappartient for UCI president; ASO buys German race organiser; Eddy Merckx: ‘Tour of Oman will be ridden’; Boonen begins season at Vuelta a San Juan; Former WADA head calls Russian doping scandal worse than Lance Armstrong; Team Sunweb unveils new kit; Meet 105-year-old hour record holder Robert Marchand; Retro Ronde van Vlaanderen.
Rohan Dennis (BMC) will wear the green and gold of Australian time trial champion for another year after defending his national title in Buninyong today. Dennis covered the 40.9km out-and-back course in a time of 50:59 (48.1km/h average), finishing an impressive 58 seconds ahead of two-time former winner Luke Durbridge (Orica-Scott) with Ben Dyball another 40 seconds back in third place. Dennis was second fastest at the halfway mark, three seconds behind Durbridge, but powered through the tougher second half of the course in scorching temperatures to take the gold medal.
While Dennis’ winning margin was significant, he hadn’t been overly confident coming into the event. An illness in the lead-up caused a few restless nights and concerns about his ability to defend the title.
“Probably about five-six days ago I woke up at midnight and had a sore throat and I’ve just been on antibiotics since,” Dennis said. “I’ve kept it quiet and I’ve been telling myself that it was severe hayfever. But last night I had my sinuses and everything all blocked up. So I was stressing a little bit. I’m thinking that this is not a good … something bad’s going to happen and I’m not going to win tomorrow. But I woke up and it was a lot clearer and I was like ‘thank God for that!’”
While Dennis managed to go 14 seconds quicker than he did en route to victory a year earlier, he didn’t do too much training specifically for today’s event. Instead he’s been more focused on his gradual progression into a general classification rider.
“I’ve done a lot less time-trial-specific stuff and a lot more of the base training, trying to build that strength that’s a lower power so I can actually save energy when I’m sitting in the peloton,” said Dennis, who’s 3kg lighter than he was a year ago.
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