The former UCI Hour Record holder will lead BMC Racing down the start ramp in Sunday's team time trial and the squad – who are the defending champions – are certainly the team to beat. On Saturday Dennis rode recon over the course with his teammates but he also has an eye on Wednesday's individual time trial. He finished fifth in the discipline last year and with defending champion Bradley Wiggins and fellow medallist from 2014, Fabian Cancellara, out through injury Dennis has a very realistic chance of at least obtaining two visits to the podium.
"The team time course is a good, rolling course, and we've a pretty strong line up that's really almost the same as last year. I feel strong, the training has been good, so we'll see," Dennis told Cyclingnews minutes after surveying the Richmond terrain.
Dennis has had a successful campaign thus far, first wining the Tour Down Under in January, and then setting a then UCI World Hour Record. He returned to the road and picked up a stage in the Dauphine – as well as a stint in the leader's jersey – before wining the opening stage of the Tour de France in Utrecht Holland. His time in the yellow jersey may have been short-lived but the stage signified a major landmark in the 25-year-old's career.
The Tour was his first major road objective of the season, with the second being the individual time trial here in Richmond. Over the last few weeks Dennis has honed his form and fitness, spending six weeks in North America where he has trained and raced. Last month he scored two wins and the overall in the USA Pro Challenge but his focus as always been centred around peaking in Richmond.
"The individual time trial has been my main goal for the year, other than the Tour de France and everything is for that. I'll be top three," he said confidently.
"You can't take Tony Martin out of the picture, Tom Dumoulin or Vasil Kiryienka," he added.
"For the TTT we've a good line up, you can't deny that but at the same time you be content with what you've got. There are other guys out there who could be hungrier. We just have to do our race."
Hunger and desire could well determine the top positions in the men's individual time trial too. Dumoulin arrives on the back of a gruelling Vuelta and Tony Martin is not head-and-shoulders above the competition like he once was.
When asked where he could finish in the individual time trial, Dennis told Cyclingnews: "Top three but in terms of the gold it all depends on the day. I really don't know how the other guys are going."
It was pointed out to him that he could leave Richmond with two gold medals, he added: "That's the goal and realistically I think that it's possible to get two golds but it all depends on the form other people have, how well other teams click but we want to get gold again and I want to get gold on Wednesday. If I come away with one gold and a podium then I can say that it's a good week."
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