Rohan Dennis was awarded the Sir Hubert Opperman Medal, recognising Australia’s best cyclist, at Cycling Australia’s 2015 awards night in Melbourne on Friday.
The 25-year-old won a stage and the general classification of the Tour Down Under in January, before setting a new Hour Record in February of 52.491km to beat the record set by Matthias Brandle in October 2014.
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Dennis then won stage one of the Tour de France, setting a Tour record average speed of 55.446km over the 13.8km route around Utrecht, to take the maillot jaune and was an instrumental part in BMC’s victory in the team time trial a week later.
The Australian was a key figure in BMC’s defence of their world time trial championship title in Richmond, Virginia in September, having also won two stages and the overall at the USA Pro Challenge in August.
The medal, which has previously been won by Cadel Evans and Anna Meares, caps a fantastic season for Dennis, who will now turn his attention to next year’s Australian national time trial championships and the Rio Olympics.
“There are some exceptional riders who have won the Oppy so to be in that sort of company is pretty special,” said Dennis.
“I thought I might be able to win it later in my career after I’d won a monument or a Grand Tour. I never thought I would get it this early in my career.”
He added: “My ambitions for next year haven’t changed, I want to start well with time trial at nationals.”
“It’s always special to wear the national jersey for the year and I can beat the best in Europe but I haven’t made it click in January. That’s my first goal.
“After that I’m looking at having a go at the Tour of California and playing role for the team at the Tour de France. But the main goal is the Rio Olympics.”