Kiwi cyclists Jack Bauer and Linda Villumsen have come up short of the medals on the opening day of the World Road Cycling Championships in Norway.

The Kiwi duo were racing in the team time trial for their professional outfits, but neither managed to reach the podium, with Villumsen's Team Virtu Cycling finishing in fifth, and Bauer's Quick Step Floors clocking in fourth.

Villumsen's Danish team were hit by bad luck, losing two of their six riders early on in the 42.5 kilometre course.

Christina Siggaar was dropped early, but the big loss was former world champion individual time trialist Amber Neben, who had a chain problem and couldn't catch back up to the four riders remaining.

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With four riders needing to cross the line for an official time, the powerful Villumsen found herself having to wait up for her teammates on the climb, and Virtu were hampered as a result.

However, any hope of a podium was always a long shot, with the four remaining riders impressively holding their pace to finish in fifth, nearly three minutes behind the victorious Team Sunweb.

Bauer's Quick Step team were much closer to making the podium, missing the medals by a mere 13 seconds.

Bauer had to deal with a technical issue as he prepared on the starting blocks, but the defending champions were quick out of the gate to sit second through the first time check.

They slowly fell off the pace however, with Bauer and teammate Niki Terpstra being dropped before the top of the climb, leaving the Belgian squad with the mandatory four riders remaining for the rest of the course.

Eventually, they crossed the line 35 seconds behind Sunweb - who did the men's and women's double - and 13 seconds behind the bronze medal winning Team Sky.

Bauer and Villumsen are back in action later in the week, with Villumsen participating in the individual time trial and road race, while Bauer will suit up in the road race.