Matt Nowell revealed his frustration after becoming a victim of a Clayton Velo Spring Classic demolition job.
The 20-year-old, from Northwich, was left shell-shocked when the scratch group attacked itself as soon as the flag dropped in Clitheroe.
The Great Britain squad, 100% ME, were the chief destroyers as they made their numerical advantage count in the 59-mile handicap race.
Jacob Hennessy eventually bagged them the win from a select group after the field had been torn apart by a barrage of attacks.
For Nowell and BIKE Channel Canyon team-mate Jake Womersley it was a brutal day in the saddle as they attempted to mark as many moves as possible. But unfortunately, the pressure told. Nowell said:
“It was weird. I have never seen that in a handicap race, where the group at the back attacks each other from the first corner.
“Usually everyone rolls through until they catch the groups in front and then the race starts. But people were just flying off the front. It was carnage.
“I remember thinking why is this happening? We’ve got 60 miles to catch a group eight minutes in front and people were literally blowing themselves to bits on the first lap.
“The GB lads were attacking, sending one or two riders up the front and then sitting up. I think they were just trying to make it difficult for everyone to work together.
“If Jake and me had just sat up and let two or three of them ride off the front, everyone behind us would have sat up and those guys would have gone straight through the pack at the front and won.
“I didn’t want to risk them getting away and never being able to claw it back but it was only me, Jake and a couple of other lads reacting.
“We hadn’t expected that. As members of a professional team everyone was turning around looking at us to chase it down. But there were only two of us and we’re not superhuman.
“We tried to cover as many attacks as possible. It then started to disintegrate from the back to the front. Every time we looked around the group was less and less and less.
“But once we caught the middle group it went off again. Attack, attack, attack. GB were sending lads off the front, right, left and centre and no-one knew what to do.
“It was stop and start for the entire race. I felt mint but then it was like there was a switch and that was it. There was a bit of a split in the peloton, Jake and I got caught behind it and that group turned out to be the one that went to the finish.
“It is so hard mentally. You do all that hard work and then a bunch of guys come charging round you when it starts to split. I’m so disappointed.”
Pictures courtesy of Ellen Isherwood.