Dennis puts team leader's interests ahead of his

France's Thomas Voeckler rides past a windmill as supporters cheer during the 166km second stage of the Tour de France. BMC team's Tejay van Garderen is ahead of the favourites for now.
France's Thomas Voeckler rides past a windmill as supporters cheer during the 166km second stage of the Tour de France. BMC team's Tejay van Garderen is ahead of the favourites for now.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

ZEELAND (Netherlands) • Rohan Dennis said it was a "hard pill to swallow" making the decision to give up the yellow jersey after just one day at the Tour de France.

The 25-year-old Australian scorched to a brilliant victory on Saturday's opening-stage time trial to wear yellow on Sunday's second stage from Utrecht to Zeeland in the Netherlands.

But he was caught behind when the peloton split up due to crashes and as he was alongside reigning champion Vincenzo Nibali at that time, he put his BMC team leader Tejay van Garderen's interests before his own and waved goodbye to the jersey.

Van Garderen is hoping to challenge the "fantastic four" of Nibali, Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Nairo Quintana for overall victory and currently sits ahead of all of them in the standings.

"I didn't expect to have to make the call out on the road that I did - that they don't wait for me and that they go ahead when there was a small split but that's racing," said a downbeat Dennis.

"It was one of those decisions that was a hard pill to swallow but I decided to not chase and to give up, well potentially give up the yellow jersey to put Nibali in a spot of difficulty and hopefully lose time.

"That was my plan, it went that way but it took a while for me to be 100 per cent happy with that decision."

But he still enjoyed his day in yellow. "It was a good experience, it was an honour to wear it (the yellow jersey) and I hope it happens again, maybe next year," he said.

"I don't know what the course is but it's always a goal of mine to be able to wear a leader's jersey, especially in the biggest race of the year.

"Everyone said to me it must be a dream come true and it really is."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2015, with the headline 'Dennis puts team leader's interests ahead of his'. Print Edition | Subscribe