Alex Dowsett proved superior to every rider but one on the looped 40km time trial course here today – and that man was Tour de France rider David Millar.
The Scotsman, with a wealth of experience at the very highest levels, had already won bronze in the road race, and he was a class apart in the time trial as he finished in 47min 18.66sec, almost a minute clear of any opposition.
But it was Dowsett, a 22-year-old haemophiliac from Chelmsford, who came closest to him, earning silver in 48:13.48, with Australia’s Luke Durbridge clocking 48:19.22.
Dowsett’s team-mate Christopher Froome was fifth in 49:38.83.
“I can’t believe it,” said Dowsett. “it’s going to take some time to sink in.
“If I’m going to be beaten then David is the guy to do it.
“I’ve done a lot of British time trials so this suited me. It’s all about concentrating for the whole thing.
“I just took the approach to get out to the turn-around as quick as possible, and on the way back limit my losses. Luckily I had a few guys ahead of me to chase. On a course like this that really helps with the concentration.”
Millar, winner of three stages of the Tour de France, was vivid in his description of what it felt like to race in temperatures approaching 40 degrees centigrade.
“It was like being on a treadmill in a sauna,” he said. “When I went out I felt like Superman – with it also in mind that you had to come back against the wind.”