Peter Sagan became the first man to win three successive World Championships men’s road race titles with victory in Norway.
The Slovak, 27, pipped Norwegian Alexander Kristoff in a sprint finish, having barely featured among the lead riders in the 267.5km race in Bergen.
“It’s unbelievable. I’m very happy to be here again. It’s something special,” said Sagan.
Only four other riders – Italy’s Alfredo Binda, Belgians Rik van Steenbergen and Eddy Merckx, and Spain’s Oscar Freire – have won the world title three times.
Sagan was in 80th position as the riders approached the Salmon Hill, final climb up, before putting himself in contention for the sprint.
Earlier, Frenchman Tony Gallopin made a break from the pack with 13km remaining, before being caught at the foot of the hill, and compatriot Julian Alaphilippe was also reeled in after attacking 4km left.
In a bunch sprint, Sagan beat Kristoff by a matter of inches in a photo finish.
“It was not easy. Guys were changing in the front all the time,” added Sagan, who won the world title in Virginia, USA, in 2015 and Dohi in 2016.
“I tried to go with the breakaway and it came down to a sprint. It was unbelievable.
“Kristoff was racing at home so I’m sorry, but of course I’m happy to win.”