Tom Dumoulin led Sunweb to victory in the world team time trial at Bergen on Sunday ahead of Rohan Dennis’ BMC Racing and Chris Froome’s Sky over a 42.5km course featuring a tricky late climb. Four-time Tour de France winner Froome and his five teammates had been leading at the halfway point, but fell 22sec adrift after Geraint Thomas and Owain Doull got into trouble on the climb.

AFP / Image: Yuzuru Sunada

“It’s the team event of the year, and we pulled it off,” said Dutchman Dumoulin, a solid time-trialist who won the Giro d’Italia in May. “We tried to keep together especially on the long climb, and that just about worked out. But we made it over, and we were all flying.”

Thomas and Doull had kept up the fastest pace until the late climb where BMC ended within eight seconds of Sunweb. Froome and Dumoulin, both good climbers and good time trialists, are expected to slug out the individual time trial over the same route on Wednesday.

Double world champion Peter Sagan or Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet may also find themselves challenged in the road race by Froome and Dumoulin next Sunday.

Sunweb also clinched the women’s team time trial led Ellen Van Dijk of the Netherlands and featuring American Coryn Rivera. Over the same course as the men they finished 12 seconds ahead of Boels Dolmans thanks to a powerful finish after crossing the summit of the climb trailing by 15sec.

“We watched the clock as they made the last corner and we counted down the seconds, so we knew we would be world champions,” said Rivera.