Vaughters hails Dennis’ Dauphiné success, confirms he is in the running for Tour de France slot
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Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Vaughters hails Dennis’ Dauphiné success, confirms he is in the running for Tour de France slot

by Shane Stokes at 8:01 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Critérium du Dauphiné
 
Believes Australian is ‘an exceptional talent,’ compares him to Wiggins

Rohan DennisGarmin-Sharp CEO Jonathan Vaughters has given a thumbs up to both the performance and the ability of the 23 year old Australian rider Rohan Dennis, saying that the new Critérium du Dauphiné race leader could be in line to begin his first Tour de France later this month.

“He is in serious consideration for the Tour, but without pressure to finish,” Vaughters confirmed to VeloNation on Wednesday, hours after Dennis finished second to Tony Martin in the stage four time trial and vaulted into the yellow jersey. “He’d do maybe ten days, maybe two weeks.”

While Dennis is in his first season as a professional and still needs to build experience, Vaughters is very excited by what he has seen thus far. “Rohan is an exceptional talent. He has the same physiological cues as Wiggins, showed evidence of climbing well at a young age (Wiggo won a mountain stage of l’Avenir in 2005, while Rohan was second overall in Avenir [actually second in the prologue - ed]).... And they both can produce exceptional power for four minutes in the pursuit and the team pursuit. That's a rare combo...very rare.”

Winner of gold medals for team pursuit in the world championships plus second in the same discipline in the Olympic Games, Dennis has also shown his class on the road. He won the Chrono Champenois and the Thuringen Rundfahrt last year while with the Jayco AIS team; in addition to that, he was winner of the mountains and young rider classification in the Tour Down Under, en route to fifth overall.

He will start stage five of the Critérium du Dauphiné in the yellow jersey, five seconds ahead of Chris Froome (Sky) and 26 up on Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step). He said on Wednesday that he had initially been targeting the white jersey and was surprised to find himself in the overall race lead, but that he would do what he could to defend the maillot jaune.

Vaughters believes that it’s possible he could finish out the WorldTour race in a very good position, but also emphasised the importance of the rider not becoming too stressed. “If he doesn't get too nervous he can finish on the podium in the Dauphine,” he said. “But that is said without expectation or pressure. If he does, great. If not, he will one day.”

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