Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) failed in his bid to win a triple crown of titles at the World Championships in Norway, admitting that he attacked from too far out in the road race and paid for his efforts.
The Dutchman won the team time trial as part of the Sunweb team on the opening weekend of the event in Bergen and then backed that up with a supreme ride in the individual time trial win on the Wednesday. Although he came into the men's road race as a contender, he played his cards too early, attacking on the penultimate ascent of Salmon Hill. The move was easily brought back and the Giro d'Italia winner was unable to repeat the move on the final climb. He came home in 25th place as Peter Sagan (Slovakia) won the sprint to take his third world road title in as many years.
"I tried to do something other than just wait for the last climb but I was lacking a bit of a punch. In the end I made the wrong decision. I had some good legs but I should have waited for the last climb," Dumoulin said at the finish.
"It was a very hard course but one where it was also very hard to make a difference. It wasn't possible to make it explode earlier and although it was a hard course it was also one where you could follow. Sagan and Kristoff were able to hang on and just suffer. If you're a good rider you can hang on."
After Dumoulin's attack was thwarted, Niki Terpstra had his chance. He tried to latch onto a dangerous move from Philippe Gilbert and Julian Alaphilippe but was distanced before the top of the last climb. Dumoulin was out of position at that point and from that moment on the Dutch were fighting a losing battle. With no sprinter in the mix, Terpstra could only manage 24th in the bunch sprint, one place ahead of his teammate Dumoulin.
"I had some good legs still but I was out of position on the last climb but that's my own fault," Dumoulin added.
"Overall, I think the team did a good job. We just don't have a finisher. I think Niki and me were just as strong on the climb, if not stronger than Sagan, Kristoff and Matthews but we're not on the podium. That's how it is.
"For now, I'm a little bit disappointed with this race because I made some wrong decisions and I didn't have luck on my side. I can't be happy with that but I'll be very happy when I step on my flight home."