Rider of the week
At first glance, it could seem strange that my pick comes from a 2.HC race United States race, giving that last week-end saw the 20th edition of the Vattenfall Cyclassics take place, as well as the first two stages of the Vuelta a España (the season’s third Grand Tour), but the truth is that Rohan Dennis’ masterful display in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge couldn’t go unnoticed, because it was one of the most impressive seen this year in a stage race, albeit one should mention that only four World Tour teams came at the start of the Colorado event.
Interesting enough, BMC’s plan before the race was for Rohan Dennis to be Brent Bookwalter’s domestique and guide the US cyclist to a GC win. During the first stages, the 25-year-old Aussie did a good job for his teammate, pulling all the time at the front and protecting Bookwalter, before becoming the team leader’s after a great attack on stage four’s Moonstone climb, that put him in the yellow jersey, which he kept until the end, in Denver. Even more outstanding than his two stage victories – both which came in Breckenridge – was to see his versatility on the flat, mountains and in the ITT, a sign of improvement and sheer power.
Two years after showing glimpses of his great potential at the Criterium du Dauphiné, where he wore the yellow jersey before finishing 8th in the overall standings, the rider from Down Under found the consistency that has elevated him in the eyes of his team and repayed the trust put in him last August, when BMC decided to transfer him from Garmin-Sharp. On short term, Rohan Dennis will look to the World Championships in Richmond, where he has a fair shot at the gold medal in the individual time trial race. Then, in the future, there should be no surprise if he’ll line-up in the Tour de France as one of the big contenders for the overall victory.