Tour de Suisse: 2nd place for Rohan Dennis
Rohan Dennis was in 2nd place of the overall standings before the conclusive stage of the Tour de Suisse. And he held on to that position with a strong ride over three Alpine passes. With Domenico Pozzovivo in 7th the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM had a second rider in the top10 of this nine-day stage race.
Rohan Dennis’ original plan had been to tackle the final stage of the Tour de Suisse in the yellow leader’s jersey. But after two hard days in the mountains, BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM’s Australian lacked the necessary freshness to wrest the jersey from Colombian Egan Bernal. As a consequence, Rohan Dennis tackled the ride over the Nufenen, Gotthard and Furka passes in 2nd in the overall standings with a deficit of 22 seconds to the leader. And the final stage of the Tour de Suisse lived up to the expectation that its profile had caused, featuring three hours category climbs in close succession and hardly a longer stretch of flat roads. Luckily the weather also played along nicely, treating the riders to plenty of sun and agreeable temperatures.
The history of the conclusive stage was written by Britain’s Hugh Carthy: The lanky climber attacked from the gun and rode the entire stage as the lone leader. In Carthy’s wake, various groups formed and fell apart, and for a while, Antonio Nibali was part of a larger group that tried to chase down the leader. On the South slope of the Gotthard he dropped back to take over from Matej Mohoric and pace his captain. On the Furka pass as the last climb of the day, it was up to Domenico Pozzovivo to set the pace of the group of favourites for large sections of the climb. On the last third of the climb, Rohan Dennis put in a strong acceleration that only Egan Bernal could answer. From there, the two first-placed riders in the overall standings joined forces on the descent from the Furka and the fast run-in to the finish line in Ulrichen.
With this 2nd place in the Queen’s stage, Rohan Dennis also cemented his 2nd place in the overall standings in what might well be the most valuable result in a stage race in the Australian’s career thus far, confirming his transformation from a pure-bred time trialist to a stage race specialist. In both the points and the mountains standings, Rohan Dennis finished the race in 3rd. And despite all the help he offered throughout the last stage Domenico Pozzovivo managed to move up to 7th in the overall standings. While the BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM had plenty of reasons to celebrate, it missed out on a result on the last day of the Tour of Slovenia. Domen Novak had made it into a lead group with three others riders, but they were caught on the last local loop, and a select group of a dozen riders contested the sprint for the final stage win.
83RD TOUR DE SUISSE, STAGE 9: ULRICHEN - ULRICHEN, 101.5KM
1. Hugh Carthy, GBR, in 3:01.49 hours
2. Rohan Dennis, AUS/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, + 1.02
3. Egan Bernal, COL, st
1. Egan Bernal, COL, in 27:43.10 hours
2. Rohan Dennis, AUS/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, + 0.19
3. Patrick Konrad, AUT, + 3.04
1. Hugh Carthy, GBR, 60 points
2. Egan Bernal, COL, 40 points
3. Rohan Dennis, AUS/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, 33 points
1. Peter Sagan, SVK, 37 points
2. Elia Viviani, ITA, 32 points
3. Rohan Dennis, AUS/BAHRAIN MERIDA PRO CYCLING TEAM, 28 points