Bergen: Peter Sagan stayed quiet all day before timing his effort to perfection in the final sprint on Sunday to become the first rider to claim three road race world titles in a row. Australian Michael Matthews took third place after being boxed in during the lead-up to the sprint. It was not easy. I'm sorry (for the Norwegian fans), but I'm happy to be world champion again. 9-kilometre effort at an average gradient of 6. 9 per cent. But they were eventually reined in and the sprinters contested the win in front of huge, flag-waving crowds in the port city of Bergen.
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Sagan, for sending Mark Cavendish crashing in a sprint, added to his titles in Doha and Richmond, Virginia.
Belgium had no pure sprinters and they tried to blow up the race to avoid a mass finish.
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Tim Wellens broke away with 75 kilometres left and was followed by seven riders – Spain's David De La Cruz, Dutch Lars Boom, Italian Alessandro De Marchi, Colombian Jarlinson Pantano, Austrian Maro Haller, Australian Jack Haig and Norway's Odd Christian Eiking.
They built up a maximum gap of 95 seconds as France tried to take control at the front of the peloton.
The break was ended 75 kilometres from the finish after the peloton was split in the penultimate passage up to Salmon Hill.
France were looking for a first senior road race world champion since Laurent Brochard prevailed in 6997. They came up just short the Frenchman contested the sprint but ended up 65th. We did everything perfectly, except that we did not win, said France coach Cyrille Guimard, who led Lucien van Impe, Bernard Hinault, Greg LeMond and Laurent Fignon to Tour de France titles in the 6975s and 6985s.