Tony Martin (Germany) has successfully defended his world time trial title.
He finished the 45.7km course, which included the notorious climb of the Cauberg, in a time of 58.38.80, five and a half seconds quicker than runner up, Taylor Phinney (USA).
Vasil Kiryienka (Belarussia) was a surprise third place, while Great Britain’s Alex Dowsett was a creditable eighth.
Martin gained his just reward for a remarkable comeback from a difficult season that included serious injury when hit by a car on a training ride, and a broken wrist in the Tour de France.
His highlight until today was a silver medal in the Olympic Games, but he was soundly beaten there by Bradley Wiggins.
Today, he triumphed over a field that, while missing Wiggins, Olympic bronze medalist, Chris Froome, and deposed Olympic champion, Fabian Cancellara, still included time trialing talents like Alberto Contador (Spain).
Martin said: “There was a lot of pressure on me to win again.
“This course was harder than I expected, but I did my best to win for the team despite such a hard final. I had nothing left at the end. I also have to give credit to Taylor, who rode the perfect race today. I am so happy for my victory and to be World Champion again.”
Martin struggled in the closing kilometres but did enough to hold off the challenge of Phinney, whose most celebrated performance to date had come in the prologue time trial of the Giro d’Italia: a performance that brought him the Maglia Rosa.
Bronze medalist, Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus), recorded his previous highest finish in the world time trial championship six years ago, and last won a time trial title in 2005 when he became national champion.
Alex Dowsett, was Great Britain’s sole representative after Bradley Wiggins, then Chris Froome, and finally Geraint Thomas withdrew their candidacy. The two-time national champion, still only 23 and recovering from after a season blighted by injury, finished eighth, ahead of Spain’s newly crowned Vuelta champion, Alberto Contador, French national champion, Sylvain Chavanel, and former world time trial champion, Bert Grabsch (Germany).
World time trial championship (elite men) – result
1) Tony Martin (GER) – 58.38.80
2) Taylor Phinney (USA) +5.37”
3) Vasil Kiryienka (BRS) +1.44.99
4) Tejay Van Garderen (USA) +1.49.37
5) Fredrik Kessiakoff (SWE) +1.50.56
6) Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ) +1.56.44
7) Jan Barta (CZE) +2.12.49
8) Alex Dowsett (GBR) +2.26.06
9) Alberto Contador (SPA) + 2.30.00
10) Adriano Malori (ITA) +2.40.54