The obstacle to their usual time trial rhythm on bikes designed for flatter courses was Mount Floyen, 9.1 per cent, 3.4km berg which came towards the end of the 31km course.
Some opted to make a change from their time trial bikes, largely unsuited to climbing out of the saddle, to a lighter weight road bike. Race winner Tom Dumoulin (NED) did not make the change and neither did bronze medallist Chris Froome (GBR) but silver medallist Primoz Roglic (SLO) did.
Race winner Tom Dumoulin (NED) did not make the change and neither did bronze medallist Chris Froome (GBR) but silver medallist Primoz Roglic (SLO) did.
"I’m one of the guys who can do a good climb on a TT bike, I have no problems handling it, so it was the right decision, I think," Dumoulin said.
— UCI (@UCI_cycling) September 20, 2017
Roglic was indecisive but did practice the high-speed swap which did work to bring him a little bit closer to Dumoulin, but the time gained was not enough to matter.
“We practised the bike change several times," Roglic said. "I doubted to swap bikes because there was a risk of losing time. In the end, it didn’t make the difference: Dumoulin was by far the strongest.”
The UCI said 27 of the 65 riders opted to swap bikes or 41.5 per cent of the field.
The swaps were policed by commissaries with a 20-metre red carpeted section allowed for the riders to receive a push to get their momentum going.