German-born Garfoot, who became an Australian citizen in 2013, finished eleventh on Tuesday behind winner Lisa Brennauer from Germany.
Garfoot was Australia's sole competitor in the event and team management had hoped she could make it into the top-10 after a strong ride at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. But it wasn't to be.
The 32-year-old finished 1min 23.36sec behind Brennauer but said she will learn from the experience.
"The plan was to go out hard, which I don't normally do, and I struggled after half way, but it was a new experience and at least I gave it everything," said Garfoot.
"There were nerves for me at my first championships as it is a big event and there were lot of people out there.
"Not knowing what to expect, not having as much experience still, I will certainly learn from this."
The 44th of 49 riders to hit the course, Garfoot went out hard, recording the seventh fastest time of 15mins 12.47secs through the first time check, just 13 seconds slower than the fastest time Ganna Solovey (UKR).
Over the second sector Garfoot slowed to be thirteenth, 50 seconds behind Solovey, before finishing slightly stronger to cross the line in the six fastest time of 40mins 11.52secs.
Garfoot won the Oceania Road Championships and overall honours in the Subaru National Road Series in her first season of racing in 2013.
She was then awarded a spot on the 2014 JAYCO-AIS Women's Endurance Squad before signing with professional outfit Orica-AIS in June.
Cycling Australia senior women's road coach Martin Barras was pleased with her performance given little time on the world stage.
"Today, the name of the game for us was to go fast and hard and get a feel of what it is like. And at the first time check, she was only 14 seconds of the best bike riders. She had never gone that quick," said Barras.
"Yes, she suffered in the middle, but she handed it really well. Technically she is excellent, there is little work needed there.
"There are a number of big points for us from today and this season. She has a couple of strong showings this year and they were done so in a conservative way.
"And on the context of the season, she has gone from racing domestically, to signing a pro contract, racing her first professional event in Europe, making a Commonwealth Games team and winning a medal, to making her debut here.
"Expectations have be reasonable, and there is work to be done, but she needs to be encouraged by her results already this year."
The first five days of the UCI Road World Championships will be live-streamed on the Cycling Central website, while the final two days will be broadcast on SBS ONE and streamed online.