Ian Stannard is already aiming to climb two steps higher on the Paris-Roubaix podium after finishing third in the iconic race on Sunday.
The Team Sky rider was involved in a five-man sprint finish but was edged out by Australian veteran Mathew Hayman and four-time winner Tom Boonen.
Stannard’s display equalled the best-ever performance by a British rider at the race known as the Hell of the North – matching Barry Hoban’s effort in 1972 and Roger Hammond’s in 2004.
The three podium finishers, in addition to Sep Vanmarcke and Stannard’s former teammate Edvald Boasson Hagen, formed an elite front group for the last 11km or so.
The Brit attacked on multiple occasions trying to avoid ending up alongside more proven sprinters such as Boasson Hagen and Boonen in the final stages.
However, the 28-year-old was pegged back every time and ultimately didn’t have enough left in the tank to overhaul Hayman or Boonen at the death.
And he admits it was a case of mixed emotions after finishing third at a race he has dreamed of winning since childhood.
“I’m pleased to finish on the podium, but it’s so close yet so far I guess,” said Stannard.
“Everyone was getting stuck in – certainly myself, I didn’t want to come into a sprint with Boonen and Boasson Hagen.
“In hindsight it might have been better to save my legs, and it might have been a different result.
“I didn’t want to come into velodrome with guys with sprinting pedigree like Boonen and Edvald so I tried to attack and get away myself – it’s where I’m better if you like.
“The final was pretty nervous, tough racing, no one really had the legs left.
“I’ve always had ambitions for this race ever since I first watched it on TV. It’s nice to get on the podium, but two more steps to work my way up now.”