USA Pro Challenge: Dennis blows away TT field for second win in 2 days | VailDaily.com

USA Pro Challenge: Dennis blows away TT field for second win in 2 days

Phil Lindeman
plindeman@summitdaily.com

It took Rohan Dennis 18 minutes and 11 seconds to squelch any doubts about his reputation as the fastest and grittiest rider in the 2015 USA Pro Challenge.

At the debut of the Breckenridge time trial, Dennis proved he has the strength and stamina to likely clench the overall win in Denver on Aug. 23. He posted a commanding performance on the grueling, unorthodox course, crossing the finish line on Main Street an incredible 27 seconds faster than second-place finisher Rob Britton (Team SmartStop). Brent Bookwalter took third to keep BMC Racing solidly on top of the overall team standings.

The top-three was a crapshoot until Dennis' run, with the lead changing hands four times after the final 15 riders tested their mettle on the 8.5-mile course. Taylor Phinny (BMC Racing) seemed like the rider to beat until 22-year-old dark horse Dan Eaton of Axeon Cycling took first position. He sat comfortably at the top before Britton knocked him to second, only to drop into second himself when Dennis, the Tour de France time trial record holder, zoomed past the line.

Earlier in the day, Allie Dragoo performed exactly how she expected at the inaugural women's USA Pro Challenge time trial. But two-time Olympic Gold medalist Kristin Armstrong performed 12-hundredths of a second better.

Armstrong, a favorite to win the overall title, made a statement with a win on the grueling time trial course, barreling through 8.5 miles and 700 feet of vertical feet in 21:24:59. Dragoo barely took second to her Tewenty16 teammate with a time of 12:24:71. Amanda Miller of the Visit Dallas team came in 24 seconds behind the top two at 21:48:58. She takes third position for the start of women's Stage 2 from Loveland to Fort Collins on Aug. 22.