Number one: Rohan Dennis from South Australia after winning the 2012 men's under 23 national road race title in Buninyong
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Former Rabobank rider hoping for return to pro level after Olympics
Rohan Dennis (Jayco-AIS) has long been considered among Australia's best young riders, and he proved that tag true once again in Buninyong yesterday by picking up a brilliant victory in the Australian under 23 road race national championship.
Of course, it would be remiss to see it as individual triumph. Dennis' win was the culmination of the perfect day out from his team, Jayco-AIS, which controlled the race from the outset before launching the young Australian in a three-man break that would fight it out for the win. It's a fact Dennis readily credited when he talked to Cyclingnews at the stage finish.
"I couldn't have done anything without my teammates," said Dennis to Cyclingnews. "Pat Lane did possibly the best job I've ever seen by someone controlling the front.
"And then Calvin when I got away with him. I really can't say how much I appreciate the work those guys did."
Perhaps more impressive was the fact that he won, all while balancing a heavy program that sees him split time between road and track. He's chasing a spot in the Australian Olympic team pursuit at the London Games all while still chasing that elusive dream to go professional in Europe.
"I was happy to get picked in the first place, but I want to go there and impress some teams. This will be my last year in the under 23s so it's important to do well.
"I'd love to get a stagiaire role or something after the Olympics, assuming I get selected. I'll be keen to get back into the longer rides again after a lot of track focus. But it's going to be a big year ahead, you never want to look to far down the road."
For now the 21-year-old was just happy to take his current success in. He joins an illustrious club of riders to have won the espoirs' title that includes Simon Clarke, Simon Gerrans, Wes Sulzberger and Jack Bobridge.
Watch the full video interview with Rohan Dennis below.
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