Patrick Bevin has recorded the best ever finish by a New Zealand male in the time trial at the world road cycling championships in Austria this morning.
Bevin put in a stellar effort on the gruelling 52.1 kilometre course, finishing in eighth to become the first New Zealand male to earn a top 10 in the format.
The 27-year-old has improved his already impressive time trialling skills significantly since he moved to his BMC Racing team, and his all-around abilities shone through to usurp Jesse Sergent's 12th place from 2014 as New Zealand's best in the men's format.
Bevin sat in 14th through the first checkpoint at 16.6 kilometres, but paced himself superbly on the testing and decisive five kilometre climb, which came after 30 kilometres and averaged a seven per cent gradient.
There, Bevin managed his effort to jump up to the seventh best time, and held steady in the fast-paced final 17 kilometres to cross the line in an impressive eighth overall. Bevin finished two minutes and 34 seconds behind dominant victor Rohan Dennis, who crushed the field to claim his first world title, finishing 81 seconds ahead of defending champion Tom Dumoulin, who in turn held off Victor Campenaerts by .53 of a second for silver.
Bevin's result adds to his bronze medal in the team time trial with BMC earlier this week, and concludes a strong season on the time trial bike which included a team time trial win at the Tour de France and several second-place finishes - finishes which will likely turn into victories in 2019.
Bevin wasn't the only Kiwi rider to impress on course though, with Hamish Bond claiming a credible 25th, 4.50 behind Dennis.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist rower finished 39th in Norway last year after suffering a puncture, but was much improved with a further year's training under his belt.
Bond - who also timed his effort well on a climb which didn't favour his skillset - managed to finish ahead of several distinguished time trialists, such as Tejay van Garderen and Alex Dowsett, and was within just seconds of the likes of Bob Jungels, Marc Soler and the 20th-placed Jos van Emden.
While it's fair to question how much more improvement is coming down the track from the 32-year-old, it is undoubtedly impressive for Bond to be beating experienced time trial stars at their own specialty after such a relatively short time in the sport.
One man he may struggle to beat though is Bevin, with New Zealand's time trial championships looking set to be a quality battle come January.
For now though, New Zealand riders have some more goals to attain in Austria. The Junior and Under 23 road races take place over the next two days, before Georgia Williams will look to go better than her 11th place in the time trial when she rides in the women's road race on Sunday morning.
Then, finally, George Bennett can add to Bevin's accomplishment, with the talented climber aiming to become just the second Kiwi rider to earn a top 10 finish in the men's road race on Monday morning.