Rohan Dennis (Australia) will have to wait a little bit longer to take gold, after he was beaten by Alex Dowsett in the Commonwealth Games time trial. Dennis was one of the favourites and Australia’s pick for victory, but was outdone by nine seconds over the 38.4-kilometre course.
"I’m feeling proud, but it’s bittersweet at the same time," said Dennis at the finish. "It’s not a bad result but to be second again, and it’s now four or five second places this year, it’s getting a bit annoying you could say. At the same time you have to take the positives out of it and it is still a second place at the Commonwealth Games, which is still a huge result.
"Four years on and I’m four places further, so hopefully by Rio I can be better."
Dennis didn’t get off to the best of starts, but began to pull back the time lost through the technical back end of the course. It looked like Dennis would be on his way to gold as he passed through the third and fourth check points. At one stage, the Australian had a five-second advantage on Dowsett but that all disappeared in the final kilometres.
"I was really happy with the course, it was a great course and it suited me perfectly but it just wasn’t my day… It was a bit of a shock when Alex came through and he was nine seconds up," said Dennis. "I felt pretty strong the whole way through. Obviously I had nothing left at the end but I think physically, my ability today, I rode it to perfection. I can take that as a positive."
It is the fifth time this season that Dennis has had to settle for the runner’s up spot in an individual time trial. Dennis had a great start to the year, with a hugely impressive second place to Bradley Wiggins at the Tour of California. Since then, his race programme has been pretty light and hasn’t competed since the Tour de Suisse.
Like his rivals Dowsett, and David Millar, Dennis was driven by disappointment this summer. "I suppose it can only make you hungrier and I’ve been pretty hungry since Suisse," he said.
"I was pulled out of Austria at the last minute and that sort of fired me up a little bit. I was a little bit annoyed about it and like Millar we put our head down to get the best result and second place was it."
Dennis will lead the Australian team in the road race this Sunday and will be one of the favourites to take gold.
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