The race won by Quinn Simmons is also notable for the resolute performance of the 18-year-old Colombian rider, who suffered a fault when the tubular tyre came off his wheel rim with 80km of the race remaining.

Gomez watched other assistane vehicles pass by as he waiting for one from his own team, and the Shimano neutral service team vehicle was nowhere to be seen. That delay led the Colombian federation to lodge a complaint to the UCI.

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As his chances of rejoining the front peloton evaporated, Gomez was moved to tears and began to walk holding his bike and tire in his hands.

Speaking after the race, Gomez explained: "In that moment, I was despairing, powerless. I was frustrated and sad, because I felt really good. I was in the group with the favourites, and I could have stayed there.

"When I started to walk, I wasn't really thinking. The adrenaline was at maximum and I must have thought if I walk a few metres it's a few metres less to get back on."

'That's heartbreaking!' - Colombian rider in tears after being left stranded

It took four mintues for his team car to appear, meaning that Gomez was able to finish well down the pack in 60th. A number of reasons meant that the wait was so dramatically long: his Colombian team were sharing a car with Uruguay with Chile, a car that was placed in 21st out of a 25-strong convoy. In addition, several crashes prevented an easy path through for vehicles.

Carlos Mario Jaramillo, the Colombian team coach, was nonetheless unimpressed with the response. Colombian Cycling Federation president Jorge Mauricio Vargas wrote to the UCI to explain why the wait was so lengthy.

Jaramillo said: "The UCI told us there were four neutral service cars and four motorbikes that would be among the groups, but we saw there was not a single one that went past him. I think the UCI made an error."

In response to the letter, UCI continental adviser Pascale Schyns replied: "I would like to clarify the following, so that the facts are clear.

"During the previous 25km, the riders were going very fast, descending Kidstones Bank. The roads, at that point of the course and for around 30km, were very narrow and, considering the danger of letting cars pass, we would have been putting the safety of the whole peloton in jeopardy.

"For that reason, the commissaires decided not to let any vehicles pass from one group to another, whether they were team vehicles or neutral service vehicles. When the conditions improved, they let them pass one-by-one.

"It's a pain this happened to a rider from your country, but the race circumstances made it so. Fate had it that the rider punctured at the worst moment of the race."

Despite his troubles, Gomez was both stoic and positive looking back. "Ever since I was called up for the national team for the Worlds, the only thing I had in mind was to do my best for the country. During the whole race, I wanted to give 100 per cent of what I had in order to represent Colombia in the best possible way," he said.

"That's what I was trying to do today, but ah well, these are things that happen in races – things that can happen to anyone."

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