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Report: Rohan Dennis set to join Ineos in 2020

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World time trial champion Rohan Dennis is set to join Team Ineos in 2020, the Adelaide Advertiser reports. The move ends months of speculation about Dennis’ future, following a tumultuous second half of the year for the South Australian.

Dennis’ contract with Bahrain-Merida was cancelled on the eve of the Road World Championships in September, following the 29-year-old’s much-publicised mid-race departure from the Tour de France in July. Dennis went on to win a second-straight world time trial title at the Yorkshire Worlds but his career has seemingly been in limbo since then.

Over the weekend eagle-eyed viewers noticed that Dennis had “liked” a photo on the Instagram account belonging to Pinarello, the bike sponsor of Team Ineos.

Ineos is yet to announce Dennis’ signing and it’s not yet clear what Dennis’ role will be at his new team. Time trialling will certainly be a focus while one-week stage races — like the Tour Down Under — might also be a target.

Dennis’ signing adds further firepower to a team that already includes four Grand Tour winners (Egan Bernal, Geraint Thomas, Chris Froome and Richard Carapaz), a road world champion (Michal Kwiatkowski), and two of the sport’s biggest up-and comers (Pavel Sivakov and Ivan Sosa).

The Adelaide Advertiser reports that Dennis’ biggest goals in 2020 will be the Toyko Olympics and the Road World Championships in Switzerland. He will be among the favourites for the individual time trial at both events.

Dennis had been scheduled to race the Vuelta a España in preparation for the Road World Championships and while he eventually missed the Spanish Grand Tour, he went on to win Worlds anyway. That result gave him increased confidence about how to prepare for big races, like the Olympics time trial.

“Any time I don’t have the perfect preparation race-wise, [the 2019 Worlds has] given me the confidence of knowing that’s not necessarily going to change the result,” Dennis told the Adelaide Advertiser. “Where people go ‘you have to do a Grand Tour’ or ‘you have to do this or that’, it is possible to win [a major time trial] without it which was a big question mark.

“So coming into Tokyo it might not necessarily be the best idea that you have to do the Tour [de France]. Let’s try to be more specific about it to get the best preparation for Tokyo and maybe that’s the best way.”

Dennis is expected to begin his 2020 season at the Australian Road National Championships as he has done every year since turning professional. He’ll start the time trial as the big favourite to win his fourth national title.

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