On a cold and blustery day in Learmonth, South Australian Rohan Dennis (Jayco-AIS) showed just why he had been tipped pre-race as the almost unbackable favourite, blasting through the 27.1 kilometre course in a time of 33:42.7 to take out his second national under 23 time trial title.
Dennis, who also won the under 23 road race on Saturday over Victorian Eric Sheppard (VIS), passed both Lachlan Morton (Chipotle Development) and Jordan Kerby on course to smash the then fastest time of surprise packet Campbell Flakemore (Genesys) by more than 40 seconds.
"My training on the track had me a lot more confident for the road race, but to come away with the time trial title as well - I'm really happy," said Dennis. "With the events coming up on the track later in the year, this is just a huge bonus and a great way to start the year."
"I knew there was always going to be a surprise packet or two, so you can never be too confident going into a race like this, or Saturday's road race. I did come here though with two goals, and I was lucky enough to tick off both of them."
To put the magnanimity of Dennis performance in perspective, he joins Jack Bobridge as the only rider in the under 23 event's history to take out both road race and time trial titles.
Jayco-AIS teammate Damien Howson finished second on the day behind Dennis, and became the only likely challenger for the title when reports came through that Jay McCarthy (fourth) had crashed with around 8 kilometres to go, almost certainly costing him a spot on the podium. Howson, an Oceania time trial champion in his own right, was the only other rider to break the 34 minute mark, but was still unable to overcome Dennis who he described as "on fire".
"I'm over the moon," said Howson of his second place. "I've put so much training into this over the past few months. Full credit to Rohan, he must've flown out there.
"A national title is never going to be easy to win, and with Rohan a multiple world champion, and an unreal rider, I'm really happy with second.
Howson, who has two more years left in the under 23 category also added that considering Rohan is a few years older he'd have a few opportunities in the future to take out the title.
"If nothing else my performance today gives me hope ifor the future."
The big story of the day however was of young Genesys rider Campbell Flakemore. Just 19 years of age, Flakemore was the first rider to break 35 minutes, and when he did set the best time by nearly a minute. Though his time wouldn't quite hold out the day, he was stoked in his debut at the event.
"I was struggling early on, I though maybe I'd gone out a little bit too early," said Flakemore. "I had a good ride on the hill though and just drove it home."
"I really didn't expect to be on the podium today - with all the AIS guys, there are just so many good riders in the under 23 division. To podium - I really can't believe it."
Of the final 10 riders to start Luke Davison (Budget Forklifts) had a solid ride in sixth, as did road race bronze medallist Calvin Watson (Jayco-AIS), but it was all about the Howson and Dennis who more than lived up to expectations on the fast and flat course.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Rohan Dennis (SA)||0:33:42.70|
|2||Damien Howson (SA)||0:00:14.79|
|3||Campbell Flakemore (Tas)||0:00:40.56|
|4||Jay Mccarthy (QLD)||0:00:43.85|
|5||Nick Aitken (Vic)||0:01:22.74|
|6||Luke Davison (NSW)||0:01:28.27|
|7||Calvin Watson (Vic)||0:01:33.73|
|8||Aaron Donnelly (NSW)||0:01:38.15|
|9||Mitchell Lovelock-Fay (ACT)||0:01:39.96|
|10||Lachlan Morton (NSW)||0:01:54.91|
|11||Nicholas Dougall (QLD)||0:01:58.94|
|12||Brian Mcleod (QLD)||0:01:59.74|
|13||David Edwards (QLD)||0:02:20.10|
|14||Harry Carpenter (SA)||0:02:33.02|
|15||Andrew Martin (WA)||0:02:49.01|
|16||Ivan Michelin-Beard (ACT)||0:03:00.10|
|17||Craig Hutton (NSW)||0:03:15.95|
|18||Nathan Elliott (Vic)||0:03:20.15|
|19||Jack Beckinsale (NSW)||0:03:22.16|
|20||Matthew Clark (Vic)||0:03:24.92|
|21||Damien Wright (QLD)||0:03:30.11|
|22||James Boal (Vic)||0:03:32.57|
|23||Liam Dove (Vic)||0:03:33.54|
|24||Eric Sheppard (Vic)||0:03:34.25|
|25||Samuel Davis (WA)||0:03:34.93|
|26||Alex Clements (Tas)||0:03:41.72|
|27||Mitchell Cooper (Vic)||0:03:45.02|
|28||Scott Mcphee (SA)||0:03:47.78|
|29||Phillip Mundy (SA)||0:03:50.27|
|30||Nicholas Woods (NSW)||0:03:55.05|
|31||Justin Vanstone (QLD)||0:04:03.72|
|32||Samuel Spokes (NSW)||0:04:03.88|
|33||Blake Hose (Vic)||0:04:09.76|
|34||Brenton Jones (Vic)||0:04:12.02|
|35||Alex Wohler (QLD)||0:04:15.42|
|36||Kevin Hawes (NSW)||0:04:23.91|
|37||Jordan Kerby (QLD)||0:04:25.10|
|38||Lachlan Ambrose (SA)||0:04:37.21|
|39||Shaun O'callaghan (Vic)||0:04:38.60|
|40||Oliver Kent-Spark (Vic)||0:05:07.38|
|41||Jared Triggs (NSW)||0:05:07.61|
|42||Benjamin Hill (NSW)||0:05:15.41|
|43||Daniel O'keefe (NSW)||0:05:15.44|
|44||Stephen Bomball (ACT)||0:05:29.70|
|45||Mitchell Codner (NSW)||0:06:14.31|
|46||Douglas Freeburn (QLD)||0:06:35.04|
|47||Darcy Woolley (Vic)||0:08:04.72|