Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus edged out Italian Adriano Malori by nine seconds in front of the largest crowds of the event so far in the men’s elite time trial at the UCI Road World Championships, claiming the first ever gold for Belarus in the 31-year-old event.

Kiryienka, a member of the Team Sky organization, completed the 32.9-mile course in 1:02:29.45. Malori earned silver and France’s Jérôme Coppel, who finished 26 seconds back, won the bronze. Taylor Phinney, the top American finisher, came in 12th with a time of 1:04:06.44.

Kiryienka finished fourth in this event the last two years and won bronze in 2012. He posted a complete performance Wednesday, having the fastest cumulative time at each of the three checkpoints before the finish.

“it was a race against myself,” Kiryienka said, according to UCI. “I knew from the beginning that I was on a good day. Today was my day.”

The race began 20 miles north of Richmond in a crowded Kings Dominion, which was open for free to the public. Riders then sped through open straights in Hanover County, heading toward downtown. Once they made it to the city, riders pushed uphill on a crowded Governor Street, which held the final two turns of the route, before hitting a final 680-meter stretch to the finish.

After a day off today, the Road World Championships competitions will resume on Friday as the road races begin. On Friday, Junior Women and the U-23 Men will compete in the first of five road races, which will conclude with the Men’s Elite Road Race Sunday, starting at University of Richmond.

Contact editor-in-chief Jack Nicholson at jack.nicholson@richmond.edu