LIZZIE Deignan had to settle for 40th place in the women's race at the UCI Road World Championships in Norway.

The Otley rider, who was champion in 2015, headed to the venue in Bergen after having her appendix removed last month and was unsure about how she would fare.

But although she battled well with the aid of her team-mates, Deignan finished well adrift of Dutch winner Chantal Blaak.

Deignan said: "I can't be too disappointed. We were in every move and we can be really proud. My team kept me going. If they weren't there, I might have pulled out."

Blaak claimed gold as Hannah Barnes saw her brave bid for a medal end in disappointment, while fellow Great Britain hopeful Dani King finished back in 20th.

Netherlands ace Blaak, who was caught up in a crash early in the 152.8km race, produced a perfectly-timed break with seven kilometres remaining and crossed the line 28 seconds ahead of the chasing pack.

Katrin Garfoot of Australia claimed silver in a sprint finish, with Denmark's Amalie Dideriksen taking the bronze, while Barnes had to settle for 14th as the race came back together around the final bend.

Barnes was part of several breakaways and looked primed for a medal as she joined Blaak and Audrey Cordon in opening up a gap of nine seconds in the closing stages.

Yet she was ultimately caught by Blaak's team-mates Annemiek van Vlueten and Anna van der Breggen, as well as Garfoot and Katarzyna Niewiadoma.

That meant when Blaak attacked there was little chance of a co-ordinated chase from behind, allowing the Dutch national champion to power to victory.

Blaak said: "Everything happened in the race. I crashed and was in a lot of pain and thought my race was over.

"I thought maybe we can see what I can do but it was not really the plan that I should win the race, I just want to make the best possible (result) for the team. Then I got in a good break and after that I just swallowed my heart and stayed away.

"I was already super happy that I had the national champ jersey this year and now I have the rainbow – it's a dream."

Barnes reflected: "I went hard the last time up Salmon Hill because I knew there would be a strong group coming across. At the finish it was so hard with three Dutch riders at the end.

"It was quite frustrating with the Dutch there. I wanted to work and they were all settling for second place. I stood up to sprint but my legs had nothing left. I can't be too disappointed with that."