Rohan Dennis has explained his decision to move from Ineos Grenadiers to Jumbo-Visma for 2022, claiming that his new squad is technically better and that Ineos "were copying Jumbo with a lot of stuff."
Dennis was not at the Jumbo-Visma presentation in Spain after travelling to Australia for the holidays but spoke via a video message recorded after a session in a wind tunnel before he travelled to the southern hemisphere.
"There's a lot of things that the team is doing really well." Dennis said. "I noticed when I was with Ineos that they were copying Jumbo with a lot of stuff. And I thought: Well, why would I want to be in a team that is copying a team on the other side of the fence?
"Why not go join that team and be on the front foot, not the back foot. So basically I want to move here because technically it is a better team. It looks like a great structure.
"I'm also coming back to semi-where I started, back when I was with Rabobank in 2011. It's slightly different, that was a Conti team, so a lot different. But I think it's a nice move and I'm really excited about it. In the sport, there's usually one or two teams that are really pushing to find the one or half a per cent and at the moment the team leading that is Jumbo."
The former world time trial champion has been described as 'dream asset' by team director Merijn Zeeman and has already secured a place in Jumbo-Visma's Tour de France squad alongside Primož Roglič, Jonas Vingegaard, Sepp Kuss, Steven Kruijswijk and Wout van Aert.
Dennis played a key role in helping Tao Geoghegan Hart win the 2020 Giro d'Italia but his last ride at the Tour de France ended in disarray when he quit the race mid-stage and never rode for Bahrain-Merida again. He later explained that he quit to save his marriage and his sanity after a gradual decline in his mental wellbeing.
Zeeman is convinced that Jumbo-Visma can offer Dennis a better physiological and psychological environment and so help him flourish. Dennis appeared pleased to be considered a 'dream asset' but avoided putting any extra pressure on himself.
"There's a bit of pressure when you get a label. It's not pressure I don't like, it makes me realise my importance in the team," he said.
"It's not just coming here and having fun. You're here to do a job, you're here to keep performing and that's what I like to do. It's one of those things that I've worked my whole professional career and even before, to get to this point. It's always been a goal to be one of the best riders in the world."
Dennis confirmed his desire to ride the 2022 Tour de France with Jumbo-Visma.
"The big goal for me in the team is to do the Tour de France," he said directly. "It's a huge race, it is a circus and I really want to be part of a team that is potentially going to win.
"I'll try and help the team beat old mate Tadej [Pogačar]. I like him but he is the enemy."
Dennis will make his 2022 debut at Australia's Road National Championships and the Santos Festival of Cycling in his home town of Adelaide, that replaces the Tour Down Under WorldTour race, and then return to Europe for the rest of the 2022 season.
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