European-based professional Julian Dean's Credit Agricole team will be "fizzing" when they learn of his victory in the New Zealand road race championship.
It was Dean's first national title at his first attempt.
Riding in his French team's green and white colours, Dean on Saturday overcame a field of 41 featuring, with the exception of injured defending champion Hayden Roulston, all the premier road racers in this country.
It made for a tough 156km race over punishingly hilly terrain and after the finish Dean said he was suffering in the last few kilometres.
He beat Timaru's Heath Blackgrove, the winner in 2003 and 2004, by half a wheel, with both credited with the time of 3h 49m 23s.
Third was four-time champion Gordon McCauley, of Counties-Manukau, just over 16s back.
"The team will be fizzing because publicity-wise it'll be good for them to have someone wearing a national jersey and I can be that little bit more proud of being a New Zealander overseas," Dean said.
It took two-thirds of the journey before the field boiled down to a breakaway group of five of Dean, Blackgrove, McCauley, Te Awamutu's Tim Gudsell and Thursday's time trial winner, Glen Chadwick, another Europe-based professional.
McCauley and an impressive Gudsell had made a break about the halfway mark to build a lead of just under 2min but Dean, Chadwick and Blackgrove steadily reeled the runaways in.
McCauley was planning a lunge for the line from a couple of kilometres out on the final lap but was beaten to the punch by Blackgrove and Dean.
"Heath attacked on the last climb, I just hesitated thinking Gudsell would take the wheel but he didn't," McCauley said.
He lost five metres on the final descent and could not recover.
That left two, and Dean had the better sprint at the end.
Dean said: "I don't think I was strongest out there today.
"Heath was probably stronger but wasn't quite strong enough to drop me on the climbs.
"I could just manage to hang on and I had a better sprint than him."
Blackgrove said he knew Dean was one of the best sprinters in the world and gave it everything in the charge to the line from about 500m out.
Dean said he planned to wear the black jersey in every race from now and in this year's Tour de France "you'll be able to pick me out a lot easier in the overhead shots".
He gets his first chance to display his new jersey in next week's six-day Tour Downunder in South Australia.
The men's under-23 title over 156km went to Thursday's time trial winner, Matt Haydock, of Counties-Manukau, in 3h 53m 56s in a bunched finish, with Oliver Pearce, of Christchurch, and Masterton's Edwin Crossling second and third, respectively.