Ian Stannard produced a memorable solo ride to seize victory on Stage 7 of the Tour of Britain.
In teeming Mansfield rain, Stannard fired up the afterburners to pull clear of the chasing riders and become the first home winner of this year’s race.
The Team Sky rider crossed the line just under a minute clear of nearest challenger Nils Pollit to give his team their second win in two stages.
And the 31-year-old revealed he had left just enough in the tank to stretych his lead at the crucial time and emerge victorious.
“It was always pretty close with Pollit, seven or eight seconds or so, and it was getting tough,” said Chelmsford’s Stannard. “Luckily there were a few little kicks towards the end so I managed to put a bit more into the gap.
“When I got into the break today I was pretty confident - I looked at the other guys, how they were riding all day and I knew that I had the edge.”
The monumental 215.6km penultimate stage sprung into life with 15km to go, the mark which Stannard laid down his gauntlet and attacked German rider Pollit.
And the British rider only grew stronger as the pair ate up the Nottinghamshire ground, eventually pulling away to win by 59 seconds.
There were four Brits in the top ten on the day, with Mark McNally (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) fourth, Team GB’s Ethan Hayter seventh and Canyon Eisberg’s Andy Tennant ninth.
In the general classification, Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe, the Tour de France King of the Mountains, put himself in a strong position going into Sunday’s final leg as he protected his lead, which stands at 17 seconds.
The Quick-Step Floors rider’s closest challenger is Dutchman Wout Poels, a Team Sky teammate of Stannard, with Slovenian Promiz Roglic of LottoNL-Jumbo third.