The Dutchman was untouchable on the difficult course through Bergen
Tom Dumoulin says that he couldn’t believe the numbers he was putting through his power meter as he stormed to victory at the World Championships elite men’s time trial.
The Dutchman was over 40 seconds up through every intermediate check point along the course and eventually finished the 31km over 57 seconds up on second place Primož Roglič (Slo) and 1-21 up on Chris Froome (GBr) who took third.
So dominant was his performance, that Dumoulin almost caught Froome, finishing nine seconds behind having begun with a 90 second gap between them.
The 27-year-old adds his first rainbow jersey to a gold medal in the team time trial last Sunday with his trade team Sunweb, and rounds off a sensational year which saw him win his first Grand Tour at the Giro d’Italia in May.
“I can’t believe it. It’s amazing. I had such a good day,” Dumoulin said after the finish.
“I thought my power meter was off the number was so high! I felt really, really good.”
The early riders on Wednesday’s Worlds time trial experienced the benefit of dry weather, with a technical, steep climb rounding off the course and prompting some riders to make bike changes to a road bike instead of a time trial setup.
As the final wave of riders took to the road, the rain began to fall in Bergen, providing an extra difficulty for some of the favourites.
Dumoulin, like most riders in the start list, eventually opted against a bike change for the final climb and took it on on his TT bike. Roglič was the only rider in the top-five to make the change.
“It started raining and I had to take the corners really slow,” Dumoulin said. “Every corner the back wheel was slipping because I had my TT tyres on because I though it would be dry.”
“I was doubting for a long time about the bike change. But I saw the climb for the first time last Friday. Yesterday I made the decision not to change and not take the risk.
Watch: Highlights of the elite men’s time trial
“I am one of the guys who can make the climb on the TT bike, I have no problems handling it so I think it was the better decision.”
There won’t be much time for celebration with his Dutch team-mates though, who saw Annamiek van Vleuten and Anna van der Breggen take gold and silver in the women’s time trial on Tuesday, as Dumoulin takes aim at another victory in the 276.5km road race on Sunday.
‘I still have the road race, I’m still focused,” Dumoulin added. “Definitely some celebrations tonight and then focus on Sunday.”