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Rohan Dennis to skip Olympic road race and focus on time trial

on Day 5 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at Pontal on August 10, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Rohan Dennis riding for Australia during the time trial at the 2016 Olympics (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Cycling Australia have announced that Rohan Dennis will skip Saturday’s Tokyo Olympics road race in order to help prepare for the men’s individual time trial. 

Dennis is one of the main favourites for a medal in the individual time trial that takes place next week but his move to skip the road race leaves his team with just three riders, Richie Porte, Luke Durbridge and Olympic debutant Lucas Hamilton.

The news of Dennis’ decision was posted online by the Australian team.

“Hamilton will be joined on the start line by Luke Durbridge and their team leader Richie Porte while Rohan Dennis will sit out the road race to prepare for next week's individual time trial,” read the press release on the Australian Olympic site.

Five years ago in Rio, at the last Olympic Games, Dennis pulled out of the road race at the feed zone before turning his attention to the time trial.

Dennis was on course for a medal at the Rio time trial but a mechanical issue with his bars inside the final 15km of the race saw him slip down the leaderboard to fifth, with Fabian Cancellara taking gold, Tom Dumoulin silver, and Chris Froome bronze.

The two-time time trial world champion has made the Olympic Games the centerpiece of his 2021 season and he's in Tokyo after surprisingly missing out of Tour de France selection at Ineos Grenadiers, having initially been on the long-list.

Dennis is set to leave the team at the end of the current campaign, having agreed a two-year deal with Tour rivals Jumbo-Visma. The deal is set to be announced after the transfer window opens on August 1.

Cyclingnews will have complete live text coverage from the men’s and women’s road races this weekend, followed by the two elite time trials next week.

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Daniel Benson
Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.