Worlds: Time trial crash costs Dennis a shot at a medal

Australian on par with Dumoulin until sliding out in the rain

Australia's Rohan Dennis was on course for a medal in the elite men's time trial at the Bergen Worlds, only for a crash to wreck his chances and see him finish eighth, 1:37 slower than new world champion Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands.

Dennis was second fastest at both the 11.5km and 16.1km time checks, only four seconds slower than Dumoulin. He actually covered the five kilometres between the two time checks on the same time as the Dutchman after a slower start.

However, rain fell as the final riders were out on the course, with several tunnels leaving riders suddenly in very different conditions.

"I went through the finish area after one lap and didn't realise it was raining on the other side, so I went into the corner too fast, as if it was dry, and slipped out," Dennis explained, taking disappointment on the chin.

"I got back going but then realised my rear derailleur was broken and so had to do another bike change. That's bike racing I suppose. I hope I'll have better luck next time."

Dennis knew he was riding well and was aware the final 3.4km climb to Mount Fløyen would decide who become world champion and take the silver and bronze medals. Dennis opted not change bikes at the foot of the climb, believing he could climb just as well on his time trial bike thanks to his forward saddle position despite the extra weight.

"My time splits were good and I was making sure I was within distance of where I needed to be. I knew it'd all come down to the final climb and I that I'd need to consolidate any gains on the first part of the curse," he explained.

"I decided a bike change was just not worth the risk. I've got a track background and so can produce equally as good as power on my TT bike. It's was a personal choice and not really worth it."

Despite his crash and disappointment, Dennis was ready to put it behind him. He is not part of the Australian team for Sunday's road race and so the time trial was the last race of his 2017 season.

"I've had plenty of bad luck in championships and so you sort of get used to it. You can't change it and dwell on it, you have to move forward," he said with a shrug of the shoulders.

"Now it's time for the off-season to start." 

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