Olympic silver medallist Lizzie Armitstead admitted she 'blew up' after coming home 19th in the women's road race at the World Championships in Florence.
Marianne Vos secured back-to-back titles but the brutal 140km course took it out of Armitstead, indeed only 36 of the 136 starters finished - Britain's Nikki Harris, Lucy Garner and Katie Colclough among those that pulled out.
“It was just so hard, I will look back a little disappointed,” Armitstead told British Cycling's official website.
“The preparation I had and the people I was still with in that group, it’s not too bad.
“If you were somebody that was going to attack you just had no chance to do it early because the course did for us, it was just so difficult.
“Sometimes it’s in your head and you’re thinking ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do this’ but it was literally all physical, I just blew up.”
Tour de France winner Chris Froome will lead a British team that includes former world champion Mark Cavendish and Sir Bradley Wiggins in Sunday's equally demanding men's race.
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