Dennis goes down fighting in final stage of the Tour de Romandie
Rohan Dennis had to give up his leader’s jersey to Aleksandr Vlasov in the last time trial to Villars. His time of 35:52 at the finish line was not enough to grab the overall victory. The 31-year-old Australian finished eighth in the general classification. Steven Kruijswijk entered the top ten (seventh).
The time trial began with five flat kilometres, followed by ten climbing kilometres at an average of eight percent. Kruijswijk finished in a time of 34:45, which meant he was the fastest for a while, but eventually, he became fifth in the day’s results. Sepp Kuss also rode a solid time trial and finished ninth. Dennis was the last rider to start. He was fast in the opening phase of his time trial, but by the time he reached the halfway point, he was already 28 seconds behind Aleksandr Vlasov. Dennis kept fighting until the end, but his time at the finish line was two minutes slower.
"I had nothing left in my legs in the last part of the climb."
“I had nothing left in my legs in the last part of the climb”, Dennis said. “It was just a fight. This week has taken its toll: I had to fight every day. I want to thank the team. My teammates were excellent this week. It was a pleasure to ride for them. They gave me all the possible support. It’s a shame I couldn’t finish it off.”
Kruijswijk was satisfied with his day’s result. “The fifth place in the time trial is okay. I didn’t feel superb, but if you look at the result, I have certainly not done badly. It was a tough time trial because of the flat approach and the bike change. Then another ten climbing kilometres followed. It wasn't easy to get into the rhythm, but I have given everything. It is an excellent way for me to end this tour.”
“We wanted to go for the best and in the end, this was the maximum we could achieve”, sports director Merijn Zeeman said. “Rohan gave everything, and Steven and Sepp rode a good time trial today. A climbing time trial is a fair fight, and Rohan could not go any faster. He was very strong on the flat, but lost time on the climb. That’s a pity because we had hoped he could keep it up. Still, we had a strong week with the team and we finished with two guys in the top ten.”