Rohan Dennis (BMC) continued his dominance of the Australian national time trial title, claiming a third straight green and gold jersey. For the second year in succession, former two-time winner Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott) claimed the silver medal
Deciding to remain at his European base of Andorra for a maiden white Christmas, Dennis had little issue adapting to Thursday's hot and dry weather which he hinted as a possible obstacle to his hat-trick.
"The main concern for me was the heat today and how I was going to cope today so I am glad I handled it quite well and came home with the win," Dennis said, who added he benefitted from an ice sock in his jersey during the ride.
Catching minute-man Durbridge, Dennis explained that he rode the 40.9km course on feel but still had enough in the tank for the challenging final kilometres back into the start/finish area.
"I held onto it for a long time. I didn’t blow out as much as what I normally would," he said. "I was told to go out a little easier this year but in the end, I feel it out and I actually seem to be able to hold myself and compose myself until five kilometres to go instead of something like ten kilometres to go."
For Dubridge, the time trial was an important early-season test and chance to ride a better race than his silver medal ride of 12-months ago.
"I am pretty happy to slip onto the podium," said Durbidge.
"I really want to be on the podium, that was the goal. The biggest thing for me, I wanted to execute the ride better than I did last year. Last year I went crazy at the turnaround and just blew on the way home. I think I did it better this year, pacing it much nicer on the way out and had something to come home with. Rohan had a lot more to come home with than me but that is okay."
For Porte, who has finished first, second and now third on the time trial course, his first time trial since the Tour was a "ridiculously hard today".
"The bronze medal is nice but Rohan absolutely thumped that course today," he said of his teammate who he described as having a "V12 engine inside his ribs".
"He was incredible. We all know that Rohan is one of the best time trialists in the world and he is lacks a bit of luck in the Worlds or Olympics."
With two of the three national title disciplines raced and won, attention turns to Sunday's 185.6km road race where BMC will line out with the ambition of defending the title won by Miles Scotson last year.
How it unfolded
Following a morning of para-cycling road races and U19 time trials, the elite men's race against the clock was the final event of the day. Taking place in the immediate aftermath of Katrin Garfoot's third straight gold in the women’s race, Ben O'Connor (Dimension Data) was the first rider down the start ramp for the elite men.
O'Connor's time of 56:26 minutes earned him first dibs on the hot seat but it was only a matter of minutes before Nathan Haas, making his racing debut for Katusha-Alpecin, bested his time. Haas bested O'Connor by 50 seconds in his first elite time trial and would eventually take an impressive fifth place.
Porte was the next rider to slip into the hot seat as the pure time trialists starting to head home on the return journey from the turn point of the 40.9km course. Porte's 52:28 ride was quickly eclipsed as Miles Scotson, Dennis and Durbridge all crossed the line within seconds of each other.
Dennis' time was his slowest time of his three wins, following a 50:13 in 2016 and 50:59 in 2017 but was commanding nonetheless. All three rides though were faster than Durbridge's 50:22 minute time and secured another winning start to the season for the 27-year-old.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team||0:51:14|
|2||Luke Durbridge (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott||0:01:08|
|3||Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team||0:01:44|
|4||Miles Scotson (Aus) BMC Racing Team||0:01:58|
|5||Nathan Haas (Aus) Katusha-Alpecin||0:02:22|
|6||Sean Lake (Aus) Bennelong SwissWellness||0:03:15|
|7||Michael Freiberg (Aus) Bennelong SwissWellness||0:04:38|
|8||Peter Milostic (Aus)||0:05:02|
|9||Jesse Coyle (Aus) mobius BridgeLane||0:05:05|
|10||Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data||0:05:12|
|11||Nicholas Squillari (Aus)||0:06:34|
|12||Thomas Kaesler (Aus) Drapac EF p/b Cannondale Holistic Development Team||0:06:45|
|13||Dylan Newbery (Aus) mobius BridgeLane||0:07:41|
|14||Ben Van Dam (Aus) Nero KOM Racing||0:08:35|
|15||Joshua Harrison (Aus) SASI||0:10:20|
|16||Patrick Saccani-Williams (Aus)||0:10:39|
|17||Paul Salisbury (Aus)||0:11:33|
|18||Greg Burget (Aus)||0:11:54|
|19||Ross Freeman (Aus)||0:15:32|
|20||Simon Pearce (Aus)||0:16:04|
|21||David Fairburn (Aus)||0:18:30|
|22||Kelly Carter (Aus)||0:20:34|
|DNS||Tristan Ward (Aus) Bennelong SwissWellness|
|DNS||Christopher Miller (Aus) Nero KOM Racing|