Richmond - Vasil Kiryienka, the European Games time-trial champion from Belarus, captured the men's individual time-trial crown Wednesday at the World Road Cycling Championships.
The 34-year-old Kiryienka completed the 53.5km course in 1:02:29.45 at 51.368 km/h to capture his first world title by 9.08 seconds over Italy's Adriano Malori with Frenchman Jerome Coppel third in 1:02:56.07.
It was a shock podium on a day when favourites faltered, with Australian Rohan Dennis suffering a flat tyre and finishing sixth, Dutchman Tom Dumoulin slowed to fifth by a hip injury and three-time world champion Tony Martin of Germany a distant seventh.
Kiryienka, third at the 2012 worlds in his only prior podium in the event, was the third-to-last starter in a field of 70 but the fastest rider at every checkpoint, adding to a season that saw him win the individual time-trial at this year's Giro d'Italia.
Malori, 27, is a 3-time Italian time-trial champion who captured the 2008 Under-23 world championship.
Coppel, the 29-year-old French national time-trial champion, took the first medal for France in the event since Laurent Jalabert's 1997 triumph.
The course began at a suburban amusement park and wound through the countryside before reaching the Virginia capital and concluded with a steep 300m climb leading to a left turn onto the closing straight.
While his podium partners charged after the 20km mark, Kiryienka started fast and seized command to seize the rainbow jersey symbolic of global cycling supremacy.
Dennis, who won this year's Tour de France opening stage time-trial, suffered a flat tire just past the halfway point and had to switch bikes, dooming his title bid.
The 25-year-old from Adelaide, who led BMC Racing to a second consecutive victory in the world team time-trial, had this year set a Tour de France individual time-trial record speed average of 55.446km/h.
Martin missed the podium for the first time after a six-year medal run and failed in his bid for a fourth title to match Swiss star Fabian Cancellara's all-time record.
Martin was third behind winner Cancellara in 2009 and 2010, took the title himself from 2011-13 and was second last year behind Britain's Bradley Wiggins, who has retired from road racing.
Dumoulin, 24, was third last year but has a sore left hip. He won a time-trial stage in this year's Vuelta a Espana on his way to a six-place finish overall.