BMC’s Rohan Dennis came and conquered the Vuelta a España but is leaving the race after his second time trial win to focus on the World Championships.
Dennis won the opening time trial to take the red leader’s jersey in Spain and won again two weeks later in Torrelavega, beating team-mate Joey Rosskopf.
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Now, the Australia is dropping out of the race with the Worlds on the horizon.
“I’m heading home now,” Dennis said after the win. “I’m just preparing for the time trial and team time trial at worlds.”
Normally, riders do not announce they are leaving a stage race unless they are sick or injured, but Dennis is able to speak his mind without any filters.
“There’s no Madrid for me,” added Dennis.
Dennis broke the hour record in 2015 and held it until Bradley Wiggins did so months later. He has yet to break the top three in the elite men’s time trail at the World Championships.
After the team time trial, taking a gold medal on the Innsbruck course will be Dennis’s major goal. It also sees him riding out his chapter with BMC.
Dennis will take part in the team time trail, the time trial in Australian colours and the road race to help Richie Porte, and ride a few Italian races back in BMC’s red and black colours.
“I got two big results for my team, the prologue and this time trial, after 14 days of suffering in between. The chapter is still going. I’m proud to win this,” Dennis said.
“I’ve still got the team time trial and the time trial at the Worlds, one in BMC colours and I’ll be on a BMC bike until December 31st. Hopefully I can end it well.”
Dennis will join team Bahrain-Merida in 2019 along with team-mate Dylan Teuns.
The Vuelta organiser is still celebrating Dennis’s win while he heads home. He will be considered in the Vuelta peloton until he does not take the stage 17 start line in Getxo tomorrow for the Basque mountain stage.