Rohan Dennis has overcome illness to defend his national time trial title.
Rohan Dennis has overcome illness to defend his national time trial title. Pavel Golovkin

Dennis powers home in national time trial

SOUTH Australia's Rohan Dennis defended his national time trial title in Buninyong today.

The BMC Racing Team rider averaged 48.1kmh in completing the 40.9km course in a time of 50:59 to comfortably beat West Australian two-time winner Luke Durbridge (Orica-Scott) by 58 seconds.

New South Welshman Ben Dyball was third a further 40 seconds back.

Second at the halfway mark, three seconds behind Durbridge, Dennis ratcheted up his pace in the second half of the course to secure the title.

Despite beating last year's winning time by 14 seconds, Dennis admitted he had doubted whether he could defend his title after battling illness in the lead-up to the race.

"Probably about five, six days ago I woke up at midnight and had a sore throat and I've just been on antibiotics since,” he 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 ... 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!'”

Dennis said he would bypass the nationals road championship this Sunday.

"To be honest it's never really going to go my way, as negative as that sounds,” he said.

"I think that it's best I just go home.”

Dennis will focus his training on the Santos Tour Down Under, which he won in 2015.

This year, however, he'll be playing second fiddle to teammate and fellow Australian Richie Porte.

Racing in the elite women's event, German-born Australian cyclist Katrin Garfoot (Orica-Scott) also won her second consecutive Australian time trial title.



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