Tom Dumoulin wins world time trial gold as Chris Froome finishes third

Dutchman claims first rainbow jersey with comprehensive victory in Bergen

The Netherlands’ Tom Dumoulin is the elite men’s world time trial champion, storming to a comprehensive victory on the testing course in Bergen as Great Britain’s Chris Froome finished third.

Dumoulin claimed gold ahead of Primoz Roglic (Slovenia), with Froome claiming bronze – his first individual medal at the UCI Road World Championships.

Dumoulin’s victory, a day after compatriot Annemiek van Vleuten won gold in the women’s event, arrived courtesy of a dominant ride – stopping the clock in 44.41.00, almost a minute faster than Roglic.

Froome was always off the pace, ultimately finishing third at 81 seconds slower than the Dutchman, but still claimed the tenth British medal in the event since it was introduced in 1994.

Tom Dumoulin is the new men’s world time trial champion (Pic: Sirotti)

A lot of pre-race attention was focussed on whether riders would change bikes for the final climb or not and the first rider onto the course, Kazakhstan’s Alexey Lutsenko, made a hash of his attempt to do exactly that.

Lutsenko struggled to clip into his road bike, and required several pushes outside of the red carpet that was designated for bike swaps.

His problems were not reflective of those who followed, however, with riders evenly split between sticking with their TT bike and swapping.

Great Britain’s Tao Geoghegan Hart, racing in place of national time trial champion Steve Cummings – who dropped out having focussed on, and then not been selected for, the road race – was hampered in his effort by a crash, and a tight chest, and finished off the pace.

In his place, the early pace-setters included Laurens de Plus (Belgium) in 47.16, while Jan Tratnik (Slovenia) put 51 seconds into him.

An indicator of Dumoulin’s likely tactics came when Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) swapped bikes and promptly set a new fastest time of 46.15, while Froome’s trade team-mates Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus) and Gianni Moscon (Italy) stuck with their Pinarello Bolides and set superb times of 46.09.75 and 46.10.49 respectively.

Both Team Sky men were within a second of Nelson Oliveira (Portugal), who set the new clubhouse lead with a time of 46.09.52.

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway) was roared around the course by a partisan home crowd, but ultimately could not force his way onto the podium.

France’s Alexis Gougeard, meanwhile, also missed out on a provisional podium spot, paying the price for a mechanical – after changing bikes – early on the final climb.

Another possible dark horse, Maciej Bodnar (Poland) crashed on the first corner, meanwhile, and found himself well out of contention as a result.

Attention by now was on the big favourites, however, with Rohan Dennis (Australia), Froome, Dumoulin and defending champion Tony Martin (Germany) all out on the course.

Dumoulin was comfortably the fastest of the lot, however, putting 10 seconds into Dennis, 25 into Martin and more than 30 into Froome at the 16.1km mark.

Dennis, however, suffered a crash before he reached the timecheck, and – just like he did at the Olympic Games – paid a big price for that.

With rain falling, the cobbles before the final climb became potentially problematic too though the big favourites all managed to get around safely.

Chris Froome finished third to claim his first medal at the UCI Road World Championships (Pic: Sirotti)

Froome opted to stick with the same bike, while Dumoulin – perhaps influenced by the weather – followed suit with very little distance between the two on the road.

One rider who did still go for a bike change was Primoz Roglic (Slovenia), which he negotiated safely, and he clearly benefited from it as he wiped 30 seconds off Oliveira’s mark.

Froome lost time to the Slovenian on the ascent, with Dumoulin on his tail having almost wiped out the 90-second difference between their start times.

And now sooner had the Brit crossed the finishing line, than Dumoulin stormed through to claim his first ever rainbow jersey.

With only Tony Martin left on the course, Froome could still have lost bronze, having started the final climb a second in arrears to the German, but ultimately – as expected – the defending champion faded on the ascent.

UCI Road World Championships – men’s time trial – result

1) Tom Dumoulin – Netherlands – 44.41.00
2) Primoz Roglic – Slovenia +57.59
3) Chris Froome – Great Britain +1.21.25
4) Nelson Oliveira – Portugal +1.28.52
5) Vasil Kiryienka – Belarus +1.28.75
6) Gianni Moscon – Italy +1.29.49
7) Wilco Kelderman – Netherlands +1.34.33
8) Rohan Dennis – Australia +1.37.39
9) Tony Martin – Germany +1.39.88
10) Jan Tratnik – Slovenia +1.43.45

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