Alex Paton completed a thrilling victory in the Eisberg sprints classification at the Tour of Britain on Sunday.
The 28-year-old Canyon Eisberg rider overcame a late charge from jersey rival Matt Holmes, of Madison Genesis, to win the final intermediate sprint of the eight-day race.
Meanwhile, his team-mate Max Stedman rose to 20th position on general classification in the wake of a breathtaking 77km crit finale on the streets of London.
The efforts of the pair of Tour of Britain debutants capped a memorable week for Tim Elverson’s UCI Continental squad.
The team bagged a hat-trick of top-10s – two from Andrew Tennant and one from Stedman – as they once again refused to be overawed by their World Tour opponents.
Caleb Ewan won stage eight as the Mitchelton-SCOTT man outgunned Fernando Gaviria, of Quick-Step Floors, and Lotto Soudal’s André Greipel on the capital’s Regent Street.
Gaviria’s team-mate Julian Alaphilippe won the overall, with Nicholas Dlamini, of Team Dimension Data, taking the mountains classification.
His team-mate Scott Davies was the best British rider, while the points jersey was clinched by BMC’s Patrick Bevin.
But none of their smiles matched that of Paton, who beamed with pride on the podium in London on Sunday evening.
The fight for the sprints jersey came down to the final prime of the final stage, with Holmes taking a flyer with around 1km to go.
Paton, who only needed to finished third, responded in style and digging into all his reserves overhauled his rival within a few yards of the line to confirm his triumph. He told Velo UK:
“Matt went up the road to try to take the last points and the alarm bells started ringing in my head.
“I knew I had to pull something special out of the bag and I’m not sure where I got it from to be honest.
“Matt attacked at the beginning of the sprint lap. Eventually a little group joined him and it gained a bit of momentum.
“Matt then attacked again coming into the final sprint and I squeezed through a gap which didn’t really exist.
“I then rode as hard as I could to try to catch him and luckily I got him on the line.
“There was a huge sigh of relief after crossing the line and taking the points. It’s as good as you can get.
“It is by far the biggest thing I have done. It has been an up and down season but is a great way to finish it off.
“I’m really happy, especially great when you have so much support and family cheering you on.
“It is great for everyone involved. There are a lot of people you don’t see and it builds morale for everyone.”
Paton’s win, added to Stedman’s top-20 and the three top-10 stage finishes ensured it was mission accomplished for team manager Elverson after eight days after gruelling battle.
Click here for the full result from stage eight. Don’t miss the highlights on ITV4 at 8pm and repeated on Monday.