Cycling Australia has announced that Rohan Dennis will skip Saturday’s Tokyo Olympics road race to prepare for the men’s individual time trial.
Dennis is one of the main favorites for a medal in next week’s individual time trial, but his decision to skip the road race leaves his team with just three riders, Richie Porte, Luke Durbridge and the Olympic debutant Lucas Hamilton.
News of Dennis’ decision was posted online by the Aussie team.
“Hamilton will be joined at the start line by Luke Durbridge and their team manager Richie Porte while Rohan Dennis will not participate in the road race to prepare for next week’s individual time trial” read in the press release on the Australian Olympic website.
Five years ago in Rio, during the last Olympics, Dennis retired from road racing in the feed zone before turning to the time trial.
Dennis was on his way to a medal in the Rio time trial, but a mechanical problem with his bars in the final 15 kilometers of the race dropped him to fifth place, with Fabian Cancellara winning gold, Tom Dumoulin l silver and Chris Froome bronze.
The two-time world time trial champion has made the Olympics the centerpiece of his 2021 season and he is in Tokyo after surprisingly missing the Tour de France selection at Ineos Grenadiers, having initially been on the long list.
Dennis is expected to leave the squad at the end of the current campaign, having secured a two-year contract with Tour rivals Jumbo-Visma. The deal is expected to be announced after the transfer window opens on August 1.
Cycling news will have full live text coverage of the men’s and women’s road races this weekend, followed by the two elite time trials next week.