The Australia pair of Rohan Dennis and Damien Howson secured silver and bronze in the men's U23 world time trial championships in Valkenburg on Monday. Dennis came into the race as the pre-event favourite after recent wins in the Chrono Champenois and Memorial Davide Fardelli, Chrono but he was put in the shade by Russian sensation Anton Vorobyev, who scorched through each time check on his way to victory.
"I've always been told to go into the race as a challenger otherwise you become complacent and feel like you've got it won already. As a favourite there is a little added pressure though and it's difficult but at the same time you put that behind you," Dennis, who will ride for Garmin-Sharp in 2013, said at the finish.
Howson, who will remain as an amateur for another season, had set the fastest time of 51:12 over the 36 kilometre course but was pushed down the order, first by Vorobyev and then by his compatriot Dennis.
"I'm very happy bronze," he said. "I've spent a long while preparing for the event, even from the start of the season. I'll aim for bigger and better things in the future."
Dennis, a silver medallist at the London Olympic Games in the team pursuit, has used the last six weeks to hone his form ahead of the Worlds but admitted that he'd struggled with the initial distances during training rides.
"It was [difficult] at first. The first couple of weeks with the long rides where you'd get hunger flats but I surprised myself a couple of weeks ago with my first time trial when I came out with the win," he said.
"I time trialled well this time, not as well as I would have liked obviously but I did what I could with time that I had. It's always good to get a medal but you always aim for the top of the podium, especially for the top spot."
Both Dennis and Howson will compete in the U23 men's road race on Saturday.