Australian cyclist of the year Rohan Dennis has won his first senior national road title, taking out the time trial.
Dennis clocked an unofficial time of 51 minutes 13 seconds on the 40.9km course at Buninyong, near Ballarat.
He beat reigning champion and new BMC teammate Richie Porte by 38 seconds, with Sean Lake a surprise bronze medallist.
“It’s always a dream to win the Aussie nationals. I’ve won under 23s and now I’ve got a senior medal and to be able to wear the green and gold in every time trial this year is a true honour," Dennis said.
"Obviously Sunday (the road race) is still to come and there’s still another jersey so we can’t celebrate tonight but we can have a little bit of a celebration and say job well done for Thursday.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best at whatever I aim to be at. Rio is my big goal this year, the time trial, then there’s the Qatar World Championships time trial as well, and I’m looking at heading more towards the general classification side of things after Rio."
While disappointed with his second place performance, Richie Porte was nonetheless happy that the national championship jersey will be on the shoulders of Dennis.
“Today has been more than what I’ve expected to be honest," Porte said. "It was a bit more of a relaxed start to the year.
"I’m happy to be on the podium and I’m not surprised that Rohan has taken this win, he deserves it, he’s hungry and I know how much he’s wanted that national jersey.”
“Last year I think he (Rohan) got his pacing strategy a little bit wrong and we’re teammates now so I’m thrilled to see him get a win and properly pace himself this year."
For surprise package Lake the result was the best of his young career.
“I’m absolutely stoked. There was a dream and a plan going into the event and it just came together perfectly for me and that’s all I was hoping for today," he said.
"I’m absolutely honoured to be on the podium with those two guys (Dennis and Porte).”
The under 23 men's time trial was dominated by Callum Scotson who averaged 46.7km/hour across the 29.3km course to stop the clock in 37mins 39.64secs, 20 seconds ahead of elder brother and defending champion Miles. West Australian Ben O’Connor took bronze.