Sam Bennett faded late after a huge physical effort at the Gent-Wevelgem Classic in Belgium on Sunday as Wout van Aert took victory with a perfectly timed ride.
Bennett [Deceuninck-QuickStep] was well positioned with over 30km to go but, having emptied the tank to the extent that he had to get sick, the Irishman eventually fell back, finishing 55th.
Unexpected winds over the cobbles and hills through Flanders ultimately made the challenge too much.
"We went hard over the Kemmel the last time and I threw up my food, so after a little while, I had no food and I had a hunger flat, so I went from one extreme to another," he told Cycling News afterwards.
"The legs blew up and I just had nothing. I couldn't do anymore. I just had a hunger flat. I felt dizzy and I felt faint, and I had nothing left.
"I was trying to hold it down a lot, because I knew if I held it down long enough I'd be OK, but it just wouldn’t stay down. I just ate too much, because I was trying to fuel as much as possible.
"I had to go so deep the last time up the Kemmel. There was too much in my stomach and I couldn't hold down my food. It was just my own fault. I tried to refuel because it’s a really long race and I over-ate."
Jumbo-Visma man Van Aert surged away the the leading group to win ahead of Italians Giacomo Nizzolo [Qhubeka Assos] and Matteo Trentin [UAE Team Emirates].
Meanwhile Adam Yates won the Tour of Catalunya week-long race as the Ineos-Grenadiers team completed a 1-2-3 overall finish in Barcelona on Sunday.
Yates, who joined the British team this year, built his victory on a third-stage win in the mountains to finish ahead of Australian Richie Porte and former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas.
The trio finished safe in the peloton in Sunday's seventh and last stage won by Belgian Thomas De Gendt from a breakaway.
Four-times Tour de France champion Chris Froome, who left Ineos-Grenadiers for Israel-Start Up Nation during the close season, was never in the mix and ended up 81st overall, 53:50 behind Yates.