• Rohan Dennis celebrates after winning the 16th stage of La Vuelta (AFP)Source: AFP
Rohan Dennis (BMC) pulled out of La Vuelta a Espana following his second time-trial victory of the race to focus on the upcoming World Championships.
12 Sep 2018 - 10:41 AM  UPDATED 12 Sep 2018 - 10:42 AM

Fresh off taking a 50 second victory on the 32-kilometre Stage 16 of the 2018 La Vuelta, Dennis was happy to point out the positive signs for the upcoming World Championships in Innsbruck.

"Everything is looking good for the World Championships," said Dennis. "I'll be heading home now and preparing specifically for the time trial and team time trial, so hopefully I will have one more box ticked by the end of the season."

Dennis' best finish in a World Championships is fifth back in 2014, though he will be considered one of the favourites over the hilly course in Austria. Dennis crashed in wet conditions at the blue riband event last year, scuppering his chances at taking the rainbow jersey. 

A gruelling edition of La Vuelta, with sweltering conditions and hard racing, has been the scene for Dennis' preparation, with the BMC rider's two victories in the time trials a sign of good form leading into the ultimate 'race of truth'. 

Rohan Dennis post-stage 16 winner's interview

"So far, I think the Vuelta has been the best preparation for the Worlds in Innsbruck," said Dennis. "It has been tough, especially the first nine days with the heat which really knocked me around.

"Luckily, it started to cool down and I started to feel better and better. I'd rather feel better as I get further into a Grand Tour than worse. So, I think this race has been the perfect preparation for the World Championships."

The three-time Australian national time-trial champion won't start Stage 17 of La Vuelta, with a view towards resting up ahead of the test against the clock and avoiding taking too much fatigue into the race.

Dennis' main rival for the time trial is current World Champion Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb and Netherlands), who has had a very different approach than Dennis. After taking podium finishes in both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, Dumoulin has taken time out of racing, only recently venturing back with a fourth-placed finish in the Deutschland Tour.