Tony Martin became the joint-most successful elite men's time trial rider by charging to gold at the 2016 UCI Road World Championships in Doha.
German Martin claimed three straight wins between 2011 and 2013 but was beaten to the top of the podium by Bradley Wiggins in 2014 and missed out on a place in the top three last year.
However, the Etixx - Quick Step rider, who also won gold in the team time trial on Sunday, returned to winning ways in the heat of Qatar, moving level with Fabian Cancellara on four gold medals in the event.
Martin's time of 44 minutes and 42.99 seconds was 46 seconds faster than 2015 winner Vasil Kiryienka, who had to settle for second ahead of Jonathan Castroviejo.
Martin was fastest through the first checkpoint, with Kiryienka just three seconds slower and Rohan Dennis and Tom Dumoulin within 21.
The German continued to eke out time on early leader Ryan Mullen, going 36 seconds clear by the second split as Dumoulin fell off the pace.
Maciej Bodnar and Castroviejo both had spells at the top of the leaderboard, but Martin surpassed the Spaniard by 70secs, with Kiryienka only able to slot in at second.
"It's amazing, I can't believe it," said Martin.
"Everyone knows I hadn't had a good year so far, until Sunday, so becoming world champion is incredible - it makes everything that happened this year forgotten."