Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rohan Dennis Captures Inaugural Tour of Alberta Ahead of Brent Bookwalter

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Rohan Dennis Captures Inaugural Tour of Alberta Ahead of Brent Bookwalter

Article excerpt

Rohan Dennis captures Tour of Alberta


CALGARY - Heading into the final stage of the Tour of Alberta, Rohan Dennis knew he had a great shot at winning the inaugural event.

All the 23-year-old Australian rider had to do was pedal his way into the peloton to maintain his 18-second lead over Brent Bookwalter of BMC Racing Team.

Dennis stuck to the plan with some help from his Team Garmin-Sharp teammates on Sunday during the fifth and final 129-kilometre stage of the race, which started in Okotoks and finished with four laps of a circuit course through downtown Calgary.

"We don't like to try to get ahead of ourselves," said Dennis, who finished with an aggregate time of 17 hours 48 minutes 40 seconds.

"We always know that there is other tactics from other teams that could knock us off our little perch if we let them. I didn't believe that it was always going to be given to us, especially on those circuits. You never know what can happen in the last 15 (kilometres)."

Damiano Caruso finished the six-day tour in third overall followed by Patrick Gretsch and Robert Gesink.

Dennis vaulted into the lead after winning the third stage from Strathmore to Drumheller on Friday and then held onto the yellow leader jersey through the final two days of the Tour.

"It's really a great honour to be able to come home with the win," said Dennis, who also captured the white best young rider jersey. "It's completely unexpected. Alberta will always remain really close to me. Hopefully I can come back here next year and prepare for worlds and try and back up my win this year."

Peter Sagan of Cannondale Pro Cycling added to wins in the prologue in Edmonton on Tuesday and the first stage of the race from Devon to Camrose the next day by racing across the finish line of the final stage in first in a time of 2:42:20.

Sagan sped past race leader Robert Forster by making a bold move on the final sharp left turn in front of an appreciative crowd.

"I saw it was better to take the last turn on the front because it's very fast and also after it's a few metres for the finish," said the Slovakian rider, who was impressed to see so much support from the fans. "I had no idea so many Slovakians live here. …

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