Australian ace Brenton Jones produced the perfect finish around the packed streets of Louth this afternoon to win the thrill-packed Tour of the Wolds.
After a stamina-sapping 102-mile course through the scenic Lincolnshire Wolds, there were just inches in at as Jones pipped rivals Steele Van Hoff and Russ Downing on the finishing line.
Thousands of people lined the final stages of the route around the streets of Louth.
Earlier, the 150-strong field of Olympic, international and domestic stars had been tamed by some daunting climbs, particularly in the Caistor area.
In the end, just 22 riders competed those final stages of six circuits around Louth before Jones took the chequered flag - just.
The race was staged in weather more akin to what Jones is used to in his native Victoria.
He admitted the combination of the hilly Wolds - and the baking sunshine - was a factor.
He said; “It’s great to have won.
“I really enjoyed the race. It was tough work and to come out on top is a brilliant feeling.
“The crowd were a big help over the last few miles. It was great seeing so any people here.
“I really liked the area - and Louth. Who knows, I might come back - preferably on a holiday next time!”
Globe-trotter Jones had been competing in the Tour de Tawain last month and headed off to France straight after the Tour of the Wolds - completing the journey by car.
He’s a member of the star-studded JLT Condor team who occupied three of the first first four places.
Jones added; “The guys (teammates) were brilliant. They rode really well. It couldn’t have gone better. We had a big group in contention and it was just a matter of sitting tight.
“I was always confident up near the front and I saw the finish line and just went for it.”
Von Hoff, representing the One Pro Cycling Team, finished second with Downing - a late all-up to the Condor line-up, taking third place.
Several Olympic stars were left trailing and there was no place on the podium for the Team Wiggins riders.
Organisers said they were delighted with the success of the day which also featured a woen’s race.
Race director Dan Ellmore described crowds for the first-ever staging of the event as ‘fantastic’ and hinted the race could return next year, ‘bigger and better.’