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  The strongest field ever assembled will line up in Buninyong on January 8. The field contains four under 23 time trial World Champions; reigning Champion Campbell Flakemore, Damian Howson, Luke Durbridge and Jack Bobridge.

Rohan Dennis a former under 23 World Championship medallist and fifth place finisher at the elite World Championships in 2014 heads in as the favourite. Former under 23 World Championship medallist and defending Champion Michael Hepburn completes the list of young riders

Triple World Champion Michael Rogers and Richie Porte who has previously finished fourth at the World Championships will also be in the mix for the medals

2014 Results

1 Michael HEPBURN
2 Luke DURBRIDGE +11.6
3 Damien HOWSON +2:06.3
4 Ben DYBALL +2:35.7
5 William CLARKE +2:51.2
6 Timothy ROE +3:11.0
7 Marc WILLIAMS +4:01.4
8 Matthew CLARK +4:17.6
9 Jack ANDERSON +4:28.5
10 Jacob KAUFFMANN +4:40.3

Past Winners

2014 Michael Hepburn
2013 Luke Durbridge
2012 Luke Durbridge
2011 Cameron Meyer
2010 Cameron Meyer
2009 Michael Rogers
2008 Adam Hansen
2007 Nathan O'Neill
2006 Nathan O'Neill
2005 Nathan O'Neill
2004 Nathan O'Neill
2003 Ben Day
2002 Nathan O'Neill
2001 Kristjan Snorrarson
2000 Darren Rolfe

The Route

A change in course for 2015 with not even a metre of flat will make for a difficult early season test. The out and back 40.9km course has only two or three turns including the turning point beneath a wind farm.

The Contenders

Full Start List available here

Rohan Dennis

Silver 2012 U23 World Time Trial Championship
Silver 2014 Commonwealth Games
5th 2014 World Time Trial Championship

A crash last year forced him to abandon when he had the form to win. Dennis was the top Australian against the clock last year despite not managing to pick up a single win in an individual time trial. A narrow second at the Commonwealth Games by nine seconds only motivated him further. Rain cost him the win in the final stage time trial at the Vuelta. Was crucial to BMC winning the TTT at the World Championships before finishing fifth in the individual.

The new course is suited to Dennis. In a field this strong it is hard to say someone is the favourite but Rohan Dennis confirmed himself in 2014 as Australia's top time trialist. After chasing the green and gold jersey for several years expect him to finally grab it here.

Michael Hepburn

Defending Champion
6th 2014 Commonwealth Games
Bronze 2011 U23 World Time Trial Championship

In some ways was a surprise winner last year, in others not. 2014 was Hepburn's first full year on the road without starting the year on the track. The switch proved to be successful as Hepburn ended Luke Durbridge's run as National Champion.

A dual individual pursuit and triple team pursuit World Champion, Hepburn's strength against the clock over short distances is well known. His win last year has shown that over longer distances he is also a real threat. The undulating course may not be perfectly suited to him but if he can find a rhythm then he may again pull on the green and gold jersey.

With a defence of his title a high priority expect Hepburn to come in to the race with good form as he looks to the spring classics. Was tearing the field apart at the Bay Crits indicating is ready for the challenge.

Luke Durbridge

2011 U23 World Time Trial Champion
2012 and 2013 National Champion
Silver 2014 National Championships

The under 23 time trial World Champion in 2011 and the Australian Champion in 2012 and 2013. Durbridge lost the title to Hepburn last year and was less than pleased. One of the best riders in the world against the clock but didn't post the results in 2014 we have come to expect.

The new course with its constant undulation also counts against Durbridge. Without long sections of flat roads Durbridge will be unable to put his considerable power down to gain time on his rivals. While it is not flat it is not a technical course so if Durbridge can settle in to a rhythm then he will be a big danger to regain his title. While Durbridge has proved his ability on undulating terrain before a number of other riders in the field are more suited.

One thing is certain after losing the title in 2014 Durbridge wants the green and gold jersey back.

Damien Howson

2013 U23 World Time Trial Champion
Bronze 2014 National Championships

One of four under 23 World Time Trial Champions in the field. Damien Howson had a strong first year as a neo pro. Started the season finishing third and completing an Orica-GreenEDGE clean sweep of the podium. While he didn't quite pick up a win was a big part of a number of the teams big wins and their silver medal in the TTT at the World Championships.

The undulating terrain could be an advantage for Howson who is one of the better climbers in the field. His bronze medal from last year shows he is already a contender at this level. While the field is stronger than last year, Howson has a full year in the senior ranks.

Campbell Flakemore

Reigning U23 World Time Trial Champion

Flakemore might be the youngest of the main contenders but don't discount him because of that. A lack of time trials in 2014 meant Flakemore's win count was not as high as it could have been. When there was a test against the clock he didn't disappoint. Won the prologue at Tour de l'Avenir and spent a day in yellow before claiming the under 23 time trial crown.

The testing course in Ponferrada made for an exciting contest with Flakemore winning by less than a second. Despite it being his first race in the elite ranks he should not be discounted. Has said he is chasing a top five finish, but he could go better than that. Flakemore climbs well. He was one of the final riders left in groups of around 10-15 on the final climbs at the Tour de l'Avenir. The undulating course could see him join teammate Rohan Dennis on the podium.

Jack Bobridge

2009 U23 World Time Trial Champion

Bobridge claimed the silver medal in 2011 behind Cameron Meyer but since then has never been in contention for the podium. After a difficult few seasons on the road Bobridge has set new targets going forward as he returns to the track on a more full time basis.

Bobridge will attempt to break the hour record on just several weeks later on the 31st of January and is using the time trial as preparation for that.

Michael Rogers

2003-2005 Time Trial World Champion
2009 National Champion
Bronze 2004 Athens Olympic Games

The three times World Time Trial Champion won the national title in 2009 and finished third when he last raced in 2012. In 2012 he finished just 15 seconds behind winner Luke Durbridge and 9 seconds behind second placed Cameron Meyer. Rogers had his best season to date winning two stages at the Giro and one at the Tour after returning from a provisional suspension.

Rogers' strength against the clock is no secret as evidence by his three world titles. The undulating course suits him. What might stop him from climbing on to the top step is the timing. Coming in the second week of January it is early in the season. With Rogers' main goals coming later in the year he is unlikely to have the form of others.

Richie Porte

Bronze 2009 National Championships

While mostly thought of as a GC rider and climber it is easy to forget Richie Porte is also very strong against the clock. In 2010 World Championships in Geelong, Porte finished fourth just seven seconds behind Tony Martin (third).

The undulating course suits Porte, but his focus is likely to be more on the road race as well as the Tour Down Under.

With the strength in the field it is hard to see past one of the big names. Keep an eye out for Ben Dyball though. He finished fourth last year and was the closest rider to the Orica-GreenEDGE trio. Jack Anderson, Will Clarke and Tim Roe could also put in strong rides.
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