Tom Dumoulin admitted he had doubts about his ability to win the UCI Road World Championships elite men’s individual time trial after already enjoying a hugely successful season. However, those doubts disappeared on the roads of Bergen with every kilometre he covered, and he went on to make history as the first Dutchman to pull on the world time trial champion’s rainbow jersey.
Dumoulin was fastest at every time check during the 31km time trial, including for the final 3.4km road up to Mount Fløyen. He stopped the clock in a time of 44:41, a massive 57 seconds faster than Primoz Roglic (Slovenia) and 1:21 faster than expected rival Chris Froome (Great Britain). Dumoulin started just a minute and a half after Froome and almost caught him before the finish.
His dominance was total, despite his doubts.
“In the last few weeks I didn’t feel special and I didn’t feel great. Mentally it was very difficult after such a great season to get in focus mode again and to have the stress with it,” Dumoulin admitted in the post-race press conference, still proudly wearing his gold medal and rainbow jersey.
“Fortunately when I came here I was a happy man and felt good in the last few days. We got a surprise win on Sunday [in the team time trial with Team Sunweb] and so that was a big boost. Today I just had super legs. I knew I was on a super day.”
Dumoulin lagged at the first time check in third, but went on to turn in the fastest splits at every remaining check along the course. Although he wasn’t quickest overall up the climb because of the rain, the 42 seconds he had on Roglic and Froome at the foot of the climb was more than enough to win.
No change to a road bike for the climb
No two without three
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com