Dennis grateful for Under 23 chance with Rabobank

Rohan Dennis (Australia) sets the pace in the mens ind pursuit

Rohan Dennis (Australia) sets the pace in the mens ind pursuit (Image credit: Gerry McManus)

The failure of Pegasus Sports to secure ProTeam status may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Australian Rohan Dennis, who managed to pick up a last minute contract with Rabobank's Under23 programme.

After a series of attempts Pegasus were forced to scrap their plans to race at both ProTeam and ProContinental levels after the UCI refused the team a licence, leaving over 20 professionals out of work. Most have now secured new teams, with the two biggest stars – Robbie McEwen and Robbie Hunter – at RadioShack.

"I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to race in Europe this year. No teams were able to offer me a solid position it was just a few maybes so it was a bit iffy over where I was going to be racing," Dennis told Cyclingnews.

"I'm really happy that Rabobank has picked me up and I really think it's one of the best teams at U23 out there. It's a great programme."

"Pegasus obviously folded and I wasn't sure what was happening. I was lucky enough that Rabobank came along with their continental team and I was really happy and grateful for the gesture."

Another stint in the U23 racing scene might be seen as a step back by some, but Dennis believes that his future will be enhanced by another chance to race at the level. With a two-year deal with the Dutch outfit Dennis will find himself able to train with Michael Matthews on a regular basis. The two raced together at Jayco Skins.

"For my long term progress I actually think that this is a good move for me," he said.

Dennis's year also already got off to a flyer with a sterling ride at the track World Cup in Manchester at the weekend. The Australian won the individual pursuit, beating Great Britain's Geraint Thomas in a thrilling final. He also helped Australia win the round of the World Cup.

"I came here and it's a little bit slower than I've been in nationals but I'm happy with my form. Me and the other Australians are putting together some great rides in the pursuit."

Dennis will make his Rabobank debut in March.


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Daniel Benson