Only three BIKE Channel Canyon riders finished as the team endured a tough day out in the high-class UCI 1.1 Grote Prijs Jef Scherens.
Sam Lowe was the best of those, crossing the line in 62nd position, 1min 31sec behind the triumphant Timothy Dupont of Véranda’s Willems-Crelan.
James Lowsley-Williams was 71st at 4.31, while Chris Opie rolled home 6.18 down in 102nd after a fiercely-contested Europe Tour contest.
The trio offered plenty of reason for cheer as they were in the thick of the action until the final throes, when the frenetic pace finally told and the decisive selection was made.
Joe Fry, Matt Nowell, Rob Partridge, Jack Pullar and Harry Tanfield made up the rest of the team for the 185.7km battle in Leuven, Belgium.
But despite such a gruelling examination alongside the likes of World Tour outfits Lotto Soudal, Lotto NL Jumbo and Quick-Step Floors, the squad remain confident for the challenges ahead.
Those tests begin with the GP Stad Zottegem on Tuesday before the Druivenkoers – Overijse 24 hours later. Both are UCI 1.1 races.
Dexter Gardias and Saturday’s Bristol Grand Prix winner Rory Townsend are expected to come into the team for the first of those.
The squad then moves from Belgium to Holland for the 2.2 Ronde van Midden Nederland, where Opie will defend the crown he won last season.
The latter will be the final major tune-up for Tim Elverson’s troops before the Tour of Britain. That eight-stage 2.HC scrap begins in Edinburgh on Sunday, September 3.
Meanwhile, Townsend cruised to the South East Region Road Race Championship crown on Sunday.
Alex Richardson crossed the line in second spot to complete a one-two for BIKE Channel Canyon in the divisional contest.
Click here for the full result from the Grote Prijs Jef Scherens.