PONFERRADA, Spain (AP) — Bradley Wiggins of Britain powered across the finish line 26.23 seconds ahead of his nearest rival to claim his first road cycling world title on Wednesday with a convincing victory in the time-trial event.
Wiggins, who won silver in 2011 and 2013, clocked 56 minutes, 25 seconds to take the title off second-place Tony Martin of Germany, who was bidding for a fourth straight championship. Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands finished third, 40.64 seconds behind.
The 34-year-old Wiggins won Olympic gold in the men's time trial in 2012 and did not contest the road race in Ponferrada in order to focus on Wednesday's event.
"Job done," Wiggins said. "I paced it perfectly. I still had gas in the final stretch. Even on the last descent, I knew I was ahead, but I was pushing all the way."
Wiggins fell to the ground, exhausted, after crossing the line. But the 2012 Tour de France champion raised a thumb in acknowledgement when Martin finished.
"I knew coming into it that I had the legs. Once I saw the course I knew if I was ever going to beat Tony it would be here," said Wiggins.
Thursday is a rest day for the riders. The next events are the women junior road race and men under-23 road race on Friday.