Rohan Dennis has opened up publicly about his split with Bahrain-Merida in a podcast recording with his new teammates Geraint Thomas and Luke Rowe.
Dennis, who had his contract with Bahrain-Merida terminated in September, signed for Team Ineos in December. He will target the Olympic Games in 2020 as he looks to put a difficult period in his career behind him.
Talking on Thomas’s podcast ‘Watts Occurring’ Dennis talks about his shock decision to walk out of the Bahrain-Merida team on the eve of the Tour de France time trial in July.
“In the end, it just wasn’t good for me to be there,” he told Thomas and Rowe.
“I was struggling mentally and in the end, it was affecting home life. It was only going to get worse so I just decided on what was best for my family.
“There were more things behind the scenes going on but it got to the point where… I wouldn’t go to the point of being absolutely depressed but if I didn’t pull out right there and then it would have probably turned bad.”
Dennis never raced for Bahrain-Merida again and spent the ten weeks after the Tour de France preparing for the defense of his world time trial title. During that period he scrubbed himself from social media and sought help. He came back to competition at the Worlds and duly won his second individual rainbow jersey on the road.
“It was a bit of a mental battle. I probably read into the shit online. Probably too much.” he said in relation to the post-Tour reaction.
“I wanted to know what was going on and where I stood in the cycling community. At first, I laughed about a lot of the stuff… journos… everything. I couldn’t fight back because it was all about keeping quiet. We agreed on keeping quiet and sorting it out behind closed doors but a few things got out.”
Dennis’s resounding win at the Worlds was a highly emotional victory for the Australian.
“It was a good moment. I had my boy and my wife at the finish and it was special. It was really special.”
His move to Team Ineos came after lengthy negotiations and despite interest from several other teams, including CCC Team. Dennis believes that Team Ineos and their attention to marginal gains will provide him with the best environment to develop and succeed in the future.
“I started talking fairly late. My manager is also yours. It was only really official on December 6 but we had agreed and it all started around October. There were a couple of others but honestly, this was the best fit. It’s the place that I think will best support my Olympic and time trial aspirations.”
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