Jack Bobridge of Australia won the gold medal in the men's under-23 time trial at the road cycling world championships on Wednesday.

Bobridge timed 40 minutes 44.79 seconds on the 20.6-mile course, more than 18 seconds faster than Portugal's Nelson Oliveira. Patrick Gretsch of Germany, last year's silver medalist, was more than 27 seconds back in third.

"It's absolutely fantastic," Bobridge said. "I couldn't ask for more. It's topped off an awesome year for myself.

The 20-year-old from Adelaide had won silver in the individual pursuit, behind Taylor Phinney of the United States, at the world track championships in March at Pruszkow, Poland.

Bobridge led at the first intermediate time check and after the first of two laps on a gently undulating course in the Swiss-Italian Alps.

"The course is harder than it looked," he said. "I looked at it earlier in the year and thought it would be for somebody bigger and stronger."

Bobridge rode in the Tour Down Under stage race in January, but had already built a reputation on the track. He was part of the Australia squad that finished fourth in the team pursuit at last year's Beijing Olympics.

Defending world champion Adriano Malori of Italy was fifth.

The women's time trial medal race starts later Wednesday, and the elite men's time trial is scheduled for Thursday.