Dennis aims for cycling redemption
Photo Source: PAA
Rohan Dennis can deliver a big result for Australia at the world road cycling championships, provided his equipment cooperates.
The 26-year-old wants Rio Olympics redemption when he starts among the favourites in Wednesday's 40km individual time trial at Doha, Qatar.
While the course is flat, it is technical and some riders have also complained so far this week about the oppressive heat.
Dennis is one of the main Australian medal chances at the worlds.
He was headed for the podium at the Rio Olympics in the time trial when an aerobar inexplicably broke, forcing a bike change that cost him about 30 seconds.
Dennis finished fifth, just eight seconds off the bronze medal.
At last year's worlds he suffered a puncture and finished sixth, 41 seconds off the podium.
But when everything goes right, Dennis is an elite time trial rider.
He is the reigning national champion, beating BMC teammate Richie Porte in January.
Dennis also set a Tour de France time trial average speed record when he won last year's opening stage.
Had he won a medal in Rio, Dennis probably would have ended his season there.
While Dennis is philosophical about his Olympics disappointment, he admits there is a sense of "what if".
"That's the hardest: the unknowns of what might have been and the fact that it's four years until another chance," Dennis told the cyclingnews website.
Compatriot Miles Scotson opened Australia's medal tally at the worlds on Monday with bronze in the under-23 time trial.
Dennis also won silver over the weekend, riding for his professional squad BMC in the teams time trial.
The Australian Orica-BikeExchange team, featuring local riders Luke Durbridge, Michael Matthews, Alex Edmondson and Michael Hepburn, won the bronze medal in the event.
Australian Chloe Hosking is among the favourites for the women's road race this Saturday and the strong Australian team will try to position her for the expected bunch sprint finish.
Likewise, fast men Caleb Ewan and Matthews will spearhead the men's elite team on Sunday for their road race.