Germany's Tony Martin powered to a successful defence of his UCI Road World Championships individual time trial title in Valkenburg, the Netherlands.
Sometimes you have the power in your legs and sometimes you do not for a race like the World Championship that is just one day. I happened to have good legs.
Winner of the same event in 2011, Martin finished the 45.7km course from Heerlen to Valkenburg in a time of 58 minutes 38.76 seconds.
American Taylor Phinney put in a mature performance to finish second, 5.37 seconds behind Martin, while Belarusian Vasil Kiryienka rounded out the podium placings with a ride of one hour 23.75 seconds.
"There was a lot of pressure on me to win again," said Martin.
"I said I just have to ride, but it was not so easy to win. Sometimes you have the power in your legs and sometimes you do not for a race like the World Championship that is just one day. I happened to have good legs.
"This course was harder than I expected, but I did my best to win for the team despite such a hard final. I had nothing left at the end.
"I also have to give credit to Taylor, who rode the perfect race today. I am so happy for my victory and to be World Champion again."
Australia's Cameron Meyer finished 16th overall in a time of one hour one minute and 38.41 seconds while team-mate Luke Durbridge finished 21st in one hour one minute and 56.64 seconds.
Some riders, like Martin, benefited from a mostly dry ride while others like Kiryienka experienced varying conditions over the 45.7km.
Cracking the one-hour mark also proved tough on the difficult weather-affected course, with only Martin and Phinney finding the strength to dip below that time.
Kazakhstan's Dmitriy Gruzdev was the first to come close, completing the ride in a time of one hour 35.20 seconds to hold the lead as a host of challengers followed, then failed, to knock him off the hot seat.
Gruzdev's time held until Kiryienka rolled across the finish line to grab the race lead.
The Belarusian's time proved just as sticky as that of Gruzdev's and he stayed in the top position until Phinney smashed through the one hour barrier by one minute and 45 seconds.
But Phinney had little time to savour the race lead he had worked so hard to craft, watching as Martin dug deep over the climbs and the final kilometre.
Martin collapsing to the ground shortly after he crossed the finish line for his second victory in as many years.
The surprise performance of the day was that of Spain's Alberto Contador.
Expected to challenge for a podium place, it appeared the Vuelta a Espana winner had nothing left in his legs for the world championship time trial after three weeks of Grand Tour racing.
Contador set off two minutes ahead of the final starter Martin, but couldn't find his rhythm and was eventually passed by the German at the 30km mark to finish in ninth place.
Italian Marco Pinotti was the only significant casualty of the day. The highly-regarded time trialist crashed on a wet corner then abandoned shortly afterwards with a suspected broken collarbone.
Elite Men's time trial: 45.7km, Heerlen to Valkenburg
1 Tony Martin (GER) 58min 38.76sec
2 Taylor Phinney (USA) 0:00:05.37
3 Vasil Kiryienka (BEL) 0:01:44.99
4 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) 0:01:49.37
5 Fredrik Kessiakoff (SWE) 0:01:50.56
6 Dmitriy Gruzdev (KAZ) 0:01:56.44
7 Jan Barta (CZE) 0:02:12.49
8 Alex Dowsett (GBR) 0:02:26.06
9 Alberto Contador (ESP) 0:02:30.00
10 Adriano Malori (ITA) 0:02:40.54