Foss earns rainbow jersey with ‘perfectly executed’ race

SYDNEY: Tobias Foss said there was a perfectly executed race behind his shock gold medal in Sunday’s Road World Championships time trial, although he couldn’t quite believe what he had achieved by winning the rainbow jersey.

The Norwegian, whose most high-profile win to date was the 2019 Tour de l’Avenir, said his expectations weren’t high before he took on the world’s best riders in the Australian city of Wollongong.

“I have to say if I were in the top 10 today I would be very, very happy, the top 5 I was hoping for,” said Foss.

“Wearing this jersey is going to be really, really special. I will try to honor it as much as possible and I will try to enjoy it as much as possible.”

Foss is only the second Norwegian to wear a rainbow jersey to win an elite race, after Thor Hushovd, who triumphed in the Geelong road race the last time the Championships were held in Australia in 2010.

The 25-year-old said the 34.2km Wollongong circuit, which contained 24 corners on each of the two laps of a circuit around the city’s suburbs and up into the coastal hills, suited him.

“There wasn’t really time to rest or de-power, you had to be very technical and go through the corners,” he added.

“It was really about taking advantage of the terrain and riding hard where the climbs were a little steeper and pausing where it was a little faster.

“I had really good coaching and we prepared very well so it was a perfectly executed race.”

Foss was 39th of the 50 riders to go out, giving him a long wait as two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar, Vuelta a Espana winner Remco Evenepoel and two-time defending champion Filippo Ganna completed the course.

“I wouldn’t say I’m the most confident guy. I really didn’t believe it until it was over,” said Foss.

“I gave it my all today, I couldn’t have done anything better. I had to be happy and then the other guys had to do their race. But man, that’s incredible.”