Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

Innsbruck — Rohan Dennis beat favourite Tom Dumoulin at the world championships individual time trial on Wednesday, with the Australian lifting his bike aloft in triumph at the finish line.

Dennis completed the 52.1km course in 1hr 03min 02sec with the Dutchman Dumoulin 1min 21sec behind in a race that had been billed as a duel between the two.

The bronze medal went to Victor Campenaerts of Belgium.

Dennis, who has won time trial and worn the leader’s jersey at all three Grand Tours, said earning the right to wear the world champion rainbow jersey for a year was a dream come true. "I have been targeting this since I was a junior and it’s absolutely amazing, a dream come true," he said.

"At the hill, Brad McGee was coaching me," said Dennis of the tough 5km climb at the 30km mark which was his major challenge. "And as soon as I got to the top I knew I could get a time at the very least as fast as he [Dumoulin] did.

"I’m not that surprised because I knew he had pushed hard in the team time-trial," said the BMC rider.

The 2017 champion Dumou-lin looked ashen at the finish, but was smiling again by the time he got to the podium and congratulated the winner.