With none of the 2018 medalists present, it was an open race with elimination race runner-up Bryan Coquard of France, Greece's Christos Volikakis and Team GB's Matt Walls all expected to figure at the sharp end of the 60-lap race.
Only Vitaliy Hryniv of Ukraine, whose countryman Roman Gladysh took the title last year, got any separation in the early stages but he never got more than a quarter of a lap of clean air from the group.
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Portugal's Iuri Leitao had been involved in almost every mini-attack and got as far as half a lap clear but it was the group who chased him down that proved the quickest of the lot.
The group of seven looked as though they might break clear but were unable to keep a consistent pace up and were swallowed up by the pack again.
Mora Vedri, who done very little of the policing at the front, broke away on his own with 10 laps to go and the rest of the field could not decide who would lead the chase and he opened up a significant gap.
The peloton ended up racing for silver and it was Volikakis, fifth last year, who threw his bike forward most effectively with Netherlands' Wim Stroetinga taking bronze on home soil.
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