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"It's always a dream to win the Aussie nationals. I've won the Under 23's and now I've got a senior medal. To be able to wear the green and gold in every time trial this year is a true honor."

Photo: Tim De Waele/TDW Sport

DAMIEN HOWSON

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MITCHELTON-SCOTT

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NATIONAL CHAMPIONSSHIPS

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RICHIE PORTE

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ROHAN DENNIS

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07.01.2016 @ 13:06 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

After several near-misses, Rohan Dennis (BMC) finally achieved one of his career goals when he claimed his first Australian TT Championships win in commanding fashion. On the hilly 40.9km course in Buninyoung, he beat new teammate Richie Porte by 39 seconds in a BMC 1-2 while Sean Lake (Avanti) was a hugely surprising bronze medallist.


We have gathered reactions from the key contenders.

 

Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team, first)

Rohan Dennis has kicked the 2016 season off in winning form, taking out the Individual Time Trial at the Australian Road National Championships.

Dennis set a blistering pace to storm home in 51:13, 38 seconds ahead of Richie Porte, who made his debut for BMC Racing Team, with Sean Lake in third.

The green and gold jersey is a dream come true for Dennis.

"It's always a dream to win the Aussie nationals. I've won the Under 23's and now I've got a senior medal. To be able to wear the green and gold in every time trial this year is a true honor. Obviously Sunday is still to come and there’s still another jersey so we can’t celebrate tonight but we can have a little bit of a celebration and say job well done for Thursday," Dennis said.

 

"If you take into account the weight, the power was higher today than last year but I paced it better and I didn't blow. It was me riding a smarter race. I rode quicker than last year but the wind was opposite so it's hard to gauge. If it was the same conditions as last year, I'd be able to tell you pretty exactly.

 

"Look at my hour record and the way I paced that compared to Jack [Bobridge] We probably averaged fairly similar average power but he went out and was in the red earlier and for longer. So this year I think I went out a lot easier and came home a lot stronger so it's a whole different feeling. You feel like you still have some energy at the finish, you're not 30 minutes in your absolute max, you try and hold back and finish strong.

 

“I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best at whatever I aim to be at. Rio is my big goal this year, the time trial, then there’s the Qatar World Championships time trial as well, and I’m looking at heading more towards the general classification side of things after Rio.

 

"Rio, that's my big goal this year. Then there's theQatar World time trial as well and really I am looking to turning more to the GC side of things after Rio so I have one more year of pure time trial then I'd like to take the route that Wiggo did.

 

"The Tour de France is the ultimate unfortunately. This is a great honour to wear green and gold, I wish I could take yellow in the green and gold, but the Tour de France was huge for me. It was my first professional win in a time trial and yellow jersey at the biggest race in the season is a bit hard to top really.

 

“Sunday (elite men’s road race) is going to be a bit of a numbers game to be honest with Orica-GreenEDGE as always. They’ve got a lot of strong riders but we’ve got Richie and I. It’s a lot like Cadel and I, but Richie and I are strong, we’re one/two in the time trial and I’m sure we can play a good card and hopefully take another green and gold.

 

"Actually I am carrying an extra kilo compared to last year, which I was stressing about last year. I was thinking it actually is quite a lumpy course and my form is good but it is only a time trial. It's not 180km or a six-day tour, there is still a lot to come in January and I am still not content with what I've done."

 

Richie Porte (BMC Racing Team, 2nd)

""It's more than what I expected to be honest. It was more of a relaxed start to the year but I'm happy to be on the podium to be honest and I'm not surprised that Rohan has taken this win. He deserves it, he's hungry and I know how much he's wanted that national jersey. We're teammates now so I'm thrilled to see him win. 

 

"It's been a long time coming," he said of racing in the BMC kit. "When you announce in August, it kind of felt like an eternity waiting to put the colours on. I am really happy and it's a great team and I am looking forward to 2016. To be a month into the season and to finish second to a class time trialist like Rohan is a great way to start the season.

 

"[Team Performance Manager] Allan Peiper said that if I won today he would throttle me so to be one month of training into a new season and finish second to a class time trialler like Rohan is a great way to start. This year, Tejay and myself, our big goal is in July. I am happy to go back to Tasmania and do some good training and start the season fit and healthy.

 

"Back in 2010 I was fourth at Worlds so I can time trial when I have to. Definitely this year with the time trials at the Tour de France they will be crucial to a good GC so I think we are really working on it. BMC is a great time trial team so with the work we've done, I am really happy.

 

"I think I turned up to training camp one month ago one of the heaviest guys there so I have really put my head down and got back into fitness. I think it's totally different conditions to what it was last year but I am happy on the BMC bike this year.

 

"We've done a lot of work in the wind tunnel and the track to get my position to where it is. With the Tour how it is this year, it's really important to be good in the time trial and I think today I am right around the mark where I need to be."

 

Marco Pinotti (BMC Racing Team Sports Director)

BMC Racing Team Sports Director, Marco Pinotti, said the result could not have been better.

"It was a perfect start to the season. I'm happy for Rohan because he did better than last year so he has improved one year on and is getting stronger, and I'm happy for Richie because he hasn't raced since the Tour de France and he did as well as last year. The course was very demanding a quite a long time trial for this time of the year."

Pinotti said today's result bodes well ahead of the road race on Sunday.

"The result is a confidence boost for Sunday. The road race will be more of a lottery but we have two strong guys in the field."

 

Sean Lake (Avanti, 3rd)

“I’m absolutely stoked. There was a dream and a plan going into the event and it just came together perfectly for me and that’s all I was hoping for today. I’m absolutely honoured to be on the podium with those two guys (Dennis and Porte)."

 

Damien Howson (Orica-GreenEDGE, 4th)

2013 under-23 world time trial champion Damien Howson has finished in fourth place in the Mars Cycling Australia Time Trial Championship this afternoon.

 

Howson lined up against tough competition including Rohan Dennis and Richie Porte and the BMC pair proved too strong for the field taking out the top two positions.

 

Victoria’s Sean Lake was a surprise bronze medalist ahead of a disappointed Howson.

 

“To be honest I am a little disappointed in the ride I was able to produce today,” Howson said after the finish. “I had a pretty good summer of training leading up to the nationals, better than past years, so I came in with pretty high expectations on myself to at least run a podium today.

 

“To fall short is a bit disappointing but all in all I can take a few lessons away from today in how I rode and tactics going into the ride and there are definitely improvements I can make in order to improve my time trialing ability.

 

“Having said that, the guys on the podium had a really strong ride today and full credit to them. Now I am looking forward to Sunday, having a great ride and making sure one of the ORICA-GreenEDGE guys are on the top step of the podium and bring that Australian champion’s jersey but to Europe with us.”

 

Howson’s finishing time was one-minute 15.5seconds behind that of gold medalist Dennis (51:13.30). Porte (51:52.06) was the next best to Dennis 38.7seconds adrift with Lake (52:48.27) one-minute 34.9seconds behind.

 

The Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships conclude with the road race on Sunday.

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