Rohan Dennis, the two-time world time trial champion who parted company with Bahrain-Merida in October, has joined Team Ineos on a two-year contract, describing it as a "dream" move and highlighting the team's approach to time trialling. His big goals for the 2020 season will be the three time trial stages at the Giro d’Italia, and the time trial at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The 29-year-old’s departure from Bahrain-Merida came after he retained his world time trial title in Harrogate in September not on a team sponsor’s bike, but on a BMC Time Machine, the same bike he used when winning the rainbow jersey in Innsbruck a year earlier.
His final race for Bahrain-Merida was Stage 12 of the Tour de France when he abandoned halfway through, reportedly due to his unhappiness with the bike and kit he was expected to use in the following day’s individual time trial in Pau – a stage that he was one of the favourites to win.
Dennis described it as a “dream” move and said that Sir Dave Brailsford’s technical approach, particularly when it comes to time trialling, made it a perfect fit.
“This has been a dream of mine since turning professional,” he said.
“Watching on from afar, I’ve always been a huge fan of the team – ever since the early years. It’s always been a goal of mine to ride for this team, so to finally fulfil that dream is a brilliant feeling and a huge honour.
“I already feel a connection to this team – a team that really believes in innovation, especially in time trialling, which is obviously something I’m hugely passionate about.
“I hope I can do the team colours proud over the course of my time here.”
Dennis will head to the team’s training camp this week, and will make his racing debut at next month’s Tour Down Under, based in his home city of Adelaide.
“I know a lot of the guys already, from speaking in the peloton over the years, so there’s already friendships built, but building on those relationships and getting to know the whole team will be important," he added.
“Racing in Australia is always special, especially for my family who rarely get to see me race – so it’ll be extra special to race for the first time for INEOS in front of them."
TDennis is one of a select group of riders to have won stages at all three Grand Tours, and to have worn the leader’s jersey in each of them, each of his victories coming against the clock.
In 2015, he won the opening stage of the Tour de France in Utrecht to claim the first yellow jersey of that year’s race.
Last year when the Giro d’Italia started in Jerusalem, he was pipped to the win in the opening time trial by Tom Dumoulin.
However, he took the pink jersey the following day in Tel-Aviv and held onto it for four days.
Later in 2018, Dennis won Stage 1 of the Vuelta in Malaga. He also put in the fastest time at the Stage 16 time trial in Torrelavega, a fortnight before winning the first of his rainbow jerseys in the discipline at Innsbruck.
His stage race victories include the Tour Down Under and the USA Pro Challenge, both of which he won in 2015.
On the track, he is a two-time world champion in the team pursuit and won Olympic silver in that event at London 2012, Australia losing to a Team GB quartet in London that included his new team-mate, Geraint Thomas.
Team Principal, Sir Dave Brailsford, said: “We all know what a world class talent Rohan is. He is one of the best and most-exciting time trial riders in modern cycling and we are very pleased to have signed him at Team INEOS.
“We are all about building a team that is the optimum blend of youth and experience. Rohan knows what it takes to win.
"We can give him an environment now where he can best fulfil his own future ambitions at the same time as showing other younger riders at the Team what you have to do to succeed at the very highest level.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.