Primoz Roglic claimed Slovenia's first-ever Olympic cycling gold medal with a perfectly-executed ride in the road time trial to dominate the field by a minute on Wednesday.
Ireland's Nicolas Roche finished in 28th place in a time of 1:01:23.13, 6:18.94 behind the eventual winner.
31-year-old former international ski jumper Roglic flew around the 44.1km route at the Fuji International Speedway to better the bronze medal of team mate Tadej Pogacar in the road race.
Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, who had looked set to quit the sport this year, repeated his silver medal from the Rio Games, finishing one minute and one second behind Roglic.
Former time trial world champion Rohan Dennis of Australia was third, a further two seconds slower, with pre-race favourite Filippo Ganna out of the medals.
Reigning world champion Ganna, the last rider to roll down the start ramp, went off in scorching fashion and was 59 seconds faster than anyone else at the first intermediate split.
But while he faded, Roglic had paced his race perfectly and won comfortably in the end in front of a sizeable crowd.