Ashburton cyclist Jason Christie has expressed disappointment at his 45th placing at the world road championships in the Netherlands, and vowed to be back.
Christie competed in the under-23 time trial at Valkenburg and after finishing sixth last year had high hopes of improving that placing.
"But things don't always happen as you want them to," Christie said.
"I realise it's practically impossible to have a season of racing starting in November, going right through until September and to be strong throughout, especially without having a break in this time.
"So another year of learning, but I see it as a positive for the future in a way. I'm disappointed, but I'll be back."
Christie said the time trial opposition wasn't much different from what he'd been facing throughout the season.
"The only difference this time was the added pressure of being at cycling's biggest event of the year, the world champs, so the nerves were high," he said.
The course didn't suit him either though.
"The course really was horrible. It was not a course for me personally as it was undulating with two big climbs in the last 6kms," he said.
"Throughout the ride it was either a downhill section, but sluggish because of the wind, or uphill and dead."
Like many, Christie was surprised to see how the podium looked at the end of the race.
On top was Anton Vorobyev (Russia), who upset the odds by storming to victory, beating pre-race favourite Rohan Dennis (Australia) by a mammoth 44 seconds over the 36km course, while another Australian, Damien Howson, took bronze.
"He won by almost a minute on the favourite and I have never heard of him before," Christie said.
"It's not really normal to average speed like he did on a course like that."
The incredible finish saw him beat the favourite, who Christie described as a class rider who had been having his best year yet.
For Christie, the worlds were the end to a long season and for the rest of the week he's doing some long awaited sightseeing in Europe.
"Every year I've been over here I haven't had the chance to do it so I thought I may as well this year before flying home next week," he said.
Once home he'll be straight back on the bike to prepare for the Tour of Southland, and then he'll take another break before preparing to head back to Europe for the 2013 season.
- APNZBy Erin Tasker of the Ashburton Guardian