Rohan Dennis storms to win in opening race of the Digital Swiss Five virtual series

Another virtual victory for the world time trial champion

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rohan Dennis claimed a second consecutive virtual race victory, as he won the opening event of the Digital Swiss Five series.

The world time trial champion played it cool in the opening 10km of the online challenge, upping the pace and catching the leaders near the summit of the first climb, comfortably riding away as he put his TT prowess to good use.

With the likes of Remco Evenepoel and Nicolas Roche in pursuit, Team Ineos rider Dennis remained calm and put out some huge power numbers to take the first win, following on from his victory in the Team Ineos Zwift race.

How it happened

The first race of the unique Digital Swiss Five series was a 26km ride from Agarn to Leukerbad, with a climb early in the race before a long descent, followed by a second ascent and then a final ramp up to the finish.

Early in proceedings it was Australian Luke Durbridge (Mitchelton-Scott) and James Whelan (EF Pro Cycling) who broke clear, putting out around 400 to 500 watts to get the gap.

Meanwhile Mathias Frank from Ag2r La Mondiale either suffered technical difficulties or missed the start of the race, and was left standing at the start line with zero watts.

World time trial champion Rohan Dennis, fresh from victory in the Team Ineos Zwift race, soon made his move from the bunch on the climb, with his team-mate Cameron Wurf further up the road.

Dennis steadily gained on his rivals out front while averaging a staggering 6 watts per kilogram, which carried him to the front of the race and past the leader Whelan near the top of the first climb, around 10km into the race.

Behind, Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) began to make his move putting out around 6w/kg himself and moving up into fourth, but the effort wasn’t enough and he began to lose ground on his rivals at the mid-way point.

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Meanwhile Dennis continued to put time into his rivals, as Whelan slipped back to third and Nicolas Roche (Sunweb) moved up into second place.

Dennis crossed the line first, as his avatar raised its hands in celebration, with Roche finishing second more than a minute back, with James Whelan holding on for third place after a heroic ride.

Results

Digital Swiss Five, race one: Agarn to Leukerbad (26km)

1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Team Ineos, in 53-07

2. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Sunweb, at 1-09

3. James Whelan (Aus) EF Pro Cycling, at 1-127

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.