Kiwi cyclist Dion Smith has emulated George Bennett, taking his first professional win in Italy, and in impressive style.
Just over a month since his countryman Bennett broke his long drought without crossing the line first with a victory at Gran Piemonte, Smith took the honours at the Coppa Sabatini this morning.
The 27-year-old was one of the best cyclists in the world yet to take a pro win, but he moved off that list by surging up the final rise to the line to win an uphill sprint ahead of former teammate Andrea Pasqualon and Alexandr Riabushenko, pumping his fist in the air after crossing the line before slumping over his bike in exhaustion.
Smith overcame a strong field to utilise his punchy finish after excellent work from his Mitchelton-Scott team leading him out, and adds his name to an impressive list of victors of the 68-year-old Italian race.
"I have to thank my teammates - they did such an impressive leadout into the climb and then I had two guys left for the climb," Smith said.
"All I had to do was sprint with 200 metres to go, so it was a perfect leadout and luckily I had the legs to finish it off."
Having come so close to victory in recent years, and snaring one of the best results of his career last month with sixth place at the Milan-San Remo monument, Smith was ecstatic to finally stand atop the podium.
"This is my first professional win; I've always come close with second and thirds, top fives. It's one of the best results I have had.
"I have to thank everybody for all their support and believing in me."
Also nearing a career-best result is 21-year-old Kiwi Mikayla Harvey, who is in line for a sensational finish at the Giro Rosa, the most prestigious stage race in women's cycling, and the closest thing the female riders have to the Tour de France.
After seven of the nine stages, Harvey sits in fourth overall, after race leader and all-around superstar Annemiek van Vleuten broke her wrist with 500 metres left in the stage this morning, ruling her out of the race.
Harvey is just one minute and 18 seconds away from a spot on the podium, and is set to record New Zealand's best finish in the history of the race. She also holds a four-minute buffer in the race for the white jersey awarded to the best rider under 25.
Harvey, whose strong results this year have already highlighted her as being one of the world's most promising stage-race riders, has been selected in the New Zealand team for the road race at the world championships next week, and at this rate could be a contender for a top result.