Great Britain's Mark Cavendish expressed frustration that rival teams were content so long as he did not win the Olympic Games road race.
The 27-year-old world champion from the Isle of Man finished 29th, 40 seconds behind, as controversial Kazakh Alexandr Vinokourov triumphed on The Mall, with Colombia's Rigoberto Uran second and Norway's Alexander Kristoff third.
Cavendish told BBC1: "It seems like most teams are happy not to win as long as we don't win.
"It's the story of our lives in cycling. It shows what a strong nation we are. We've got to take the positives from that and take it as a compliment."
Cavendish, a winner of 23 Tour de France stages, was among the favourites for the 250-kilometre event, which included nine ascents of Surrey's Box Hill.
He had described Britain's five-man squad as the "dream team", featuring Tour winner Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, David Millar and Ian Stannard.
All four had ridden in support of Cavendish when he won the World Championships road race in Copenhagen last September, but this task was tougher, according to Millar and Wiggins.
And despite phenomenal support from his four British team-mates on Saturday, a late breakaway stayed clear and Vinokourov, who served a two-year ban until 2009 for blood doping, won the sprint for the line.
Cavendish was unhappy the likes of Australia and Germany, who had sprinters in their teams, were reluctant to pursue the breakaway.
He added: "It's bitterly disappointing. There's 70 guys in our group at the finish, I don't understand why there's (only) three guys riding. It doesn't make sense.
"No-one wants to help us. The Australians sit there. They always just ride negatively... they're happy to see us lose.
"I'd like to say that's how it goes, but it's disappointing.
"But we did everything. We can't make excuses. We did everything we said we were going to do and more. To see the guys with the calibre they've got ride like that for me is incredible."
On his team-mates, he continued: "Incredible. I couldn't be more proud of them. They're still sat there in their kit in the tent. They're absolutely spent.
"They just rode 250k (kilometres) they've gone 60k an hour for the last hour. It's incredible, I'm so proud of them."
Despite the result, Cavendish relished the experience of competing in front of vocal support at a home Games.
"All our ears are ringing," he said. "Obviously we don't pick up on individuals, you just hear noise. It was tremendous the whole way round.
"It's something I'll remember forever.
"I haven't got a medal but I can be completely proud of my team and completely proud of my country for their support."
what do you think?
i was there on box hill - all looked so good - what a shame but well raced guys !
Kav; pure class. Big-hearted, generous, lovely guy. You're still a young man, mate, plenty of talent in-store for the next four years. I have followed and will continue to follow your many successes. Congrats on your Tour victories. Pure class.
Imagine the cheek of other countries not wanting to help him win!
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