Australia's Rohan Dennis has proven he's a future star of the sport with a top-five finish in the men's time trial behind Bradley Wiggins at the UCI Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain.
Cycling Central

7 Apr 2015 - 5:20 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:34 PM

Dennis, from South Australia, was third through the second time check of the day, but slipped slightly over the closing stages to miss out on the podium by 17 seconds, finishing behind Wiggins, Germany's Tony Martin, Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands and Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus.

The 24-year-old wrestled with his bike on the course's final climb within 5km of the finish. But his fifth place is an impressive marker. Australian team management tips the youngster will win a medal in the next four years.

"Top five was a goal of mine, of course a medal would have been great, but in my second year, to get within about a minute of the win is huge," said Dennis.

"(It's) a great improvement from last year so next year I am going to be even stronger hopefully."

Dennis finished 12th on debut in 2013.

He won gold on Sunday as part of the six-man BMC squad that took out the championship-opening team time trial ahead of Australian outfit Orica-GreenEDGE.

The Adelaide-born rider is a new addition to the US squad having switched from Garmin-Sharp less than two months ago.

Dennis said Sunday's TTT win was the highlight of his career.

"To experience a world title in the seniors on the road is just amazing."

Australian men's head coach Bradley McGee was impressed by Dennis's performance on Wednesday.

"Top five here is very encouraging and I'm happy to see that Rohan can see that himself," said McGee. "He showed a lot of maturity today. The legs will come, the attitude is there."

Dennis, a former track champion, won silver in the ITT at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in late July.

The first five days of the UCI Road World Championships will be live-streamed on the Cycling Central website, while the final two days will be broadcast on SBS ONE and streamed online.