Poland's team leader arrived in Bergen as a red-hot favourite for the road race having won Milan-San Remo and the Clasica San Sebastian on either side of a hugely impressive performance at the Tour de France in July. However, Kwiatkowski was never able to play a significant role in the race. He was unable to go with the attacks on Salmon Hill, and although he made it into the final group of 26 riders that hit the final few kilometres, he was left trailing by the sprinters as Peter Sagan picked off his third World title.
Kwiatkowski, who won the rainbow jersey after a perfectly executed late attack in 2014, admitted that he simply didn't have the legs in Norway.
"The last climb, the last 10 kilometres, it was very difficult to go away," Kwiatkowski told Cyclingnews. "I didn't have the legs to go with Alaphilippe, and in the end I had nothing at the finish. Congratulations to Peter. He stayed so relaxed all the way to the finish and then made the perfect sprint. That's all I can say."
Poland had been seen on the front in the second half of the race in a bid to support Kwiatkowski. They had missed a key break that included riders from Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
"My teammates did a pretty good job. We missed the break that's why we took control and we did what we could."
As well we congratulating Sagan on his performance, Kwiatkowski acknowledged that his performance had not met his own expectations. Eleventh place was certainly no disgrace but when the course plays to your strengths and a world title is on the line, only a win is good enough.
"This wasn't what I wanted. I was there on climb and wish I could have gone away or gone up against Sagan but I came out of the race with nothing."