Burnley-born cycling star James Moss admitted the starting pace got the better of him as strategy went out of the window at the inaugural Prudential RideLondon Classic on Saturday.
The 28-year-old, now based in Newcastle, took on some of the world’s best riders over 140km through the streets of the capital and the rolling Surrey hills, and ended up finishing near the back of the field in 130th.
After an attacking start to the race in which Moss worked to keep up with the leading riders, he says he found the route increasingly didn’t work in his favour as he tackled Box Hill and Leith Hill.
He said: “It was pretty hard, we just wanted to get in the break so the first hour was flat out for us and after that it was a bit of dead man walking.
“The course was constantly going up and down so you couldn’t really relax and you had to really concentrate.
“This is significantly bigger than anything we’ll do this year except the Tour of Britain.”
The Classic was the blue chip event of a weekend of cycling festivities in the city, with Frenchman Arnaud Demare winning the sprint to the line to finish in 5hrs 7mins 44secs.
Italian Sacha Modolo was second with Yannick Martinez of France third.
Pre-race favourite Peter Sagan, winner of the green jersey at the Tour de France, failed to finish in the top 50 after the peloton gradually pulled in a mid-race break from seven riders with Ben Swift of Team Sky the first Brit over the line in 10th.
Moss - who was 2012 Tour of the North winner - said he believed the extraordinary atmosphere which saw crowds lining almost every inch of the 140km course would not have been possible were it not for the positive impact the Olympic legacy has had on cycling.
“There were millions of people out there and there are definitely more people riding their bikes in this country,” added the Sigma Sport rider.
“I did the test event for the Olympics and that was mad, but this was fantastic.
“I think there needs to be more road racers at a National level rather than the International side of things, I think they have enough but there is a real lack of it for us.”
l Prudential Ride London took place on August 3rd and 4th. If you’re inspired to ride, visit www.prudentialridelondon.co.uk