The 29-year-old, champion 12 months ago in Innsbruck, bested the field once more to clock a time of one hour 5.05 minutes on the 54km route from Northallerton to Harrogate.
Cycling wonderkid Remco Evenepoel of Belgium - who was riding and winning the junior categories a year ago in the Austrian Alps - finished a minute and eight seconds down to claim the silver medal. Italy’s Filippo Hanna was third.
Great Britain’s Alex Dowsett finished fifth, a very encouraging performance by the man from Essex.
“I never like to set a target because I want to win every race but I’m very happy with that,” said Dowsett.
Once again Harrogate shone in the global spotlight, helped by the weather which was far more accommodating for riders and fans than the deluge of the day before.