And then out of nowhere Peter Sagan won his third straight rainbow jersey.
Nobody knows how he did it, nobody knows where he was, nobody knows where he came from, they just know that after nearly six and a half hours riding through 267.5 km of Norway, Peter Sagan was there at the front of the pack to claim his third straight world road race title.
Showing off the splendor of the host country it all came down to the final 19km lap of the 11 circuits of Bergen. It wasn’t even that distance really.
Part way through it was on. Alaphilippe and Moscon were just ahead of Kiryienka and another rider, who were just ahead of the bunch. No one seemed to be gaining on anyone.
The with about three k’s to go the pictures went. Nothing but some nice views of Bergen. Well we’d spent a while looking at how nice Bergen is while nowt was happening, now something was. It happens at every worlds, the pictures go on the fritz at some point and usually when something is happening.
So we were stuck with a static camera just after the final K banner and a distance counter who knew if you could trust.
Some motorbikes arrived. Then some more, some cars, more bikes and so on. Then the commentary said it was all back together again but we still had to wait before the first racer appeared.
A Dane ahead of the peloton, don’t know who. He’s swallowed up as we switch to another static camera and you haven’t a clue who is who or where.
Then round the final bend and there’s Sagan. The only time he’d been mentioned was when they said he hadn’t been seen all day and then to say he was 80th at some point and now here he is third in line with under hall a kilometre to go.
Local favourite Kristoff is just in front of him, he makes his move with about 300m to go and then Sagan pulls out and pulls ahead to win by less than half a wheel.
Sagan becoming the fifth man to win the road race title three times but the first to do so in a row.
Stunning finish by a stunning rider.
A word also for Chris Froome, getting bronze in the time trial after the year he’s just had was great going. Beating Dumoulin was never really likely when the Dutchman had spent most of the season preparing for this one race.