Australian track racing star Sam Welsford has added a national road criterium title to his trophy cabinet.
The Western Australia-based rider tipped out Kaden Groves and Ballarat boy Nick White in a charge to the line to claim victory in Friday's elite men's race.
There were treacherous conditions along the Sturt Street circuit as rain tumbled throughout the 44km journey, but Welsford was good enough to keep his bike on the road and avoid trouble. He eventually broke clear on the uphill final sprint and went on to win by a couple of lengths.
The 23-year-old was a member of Australia's world record-breaking team pursuit at last year's world championships and is likely to be included in the track squad for the Tokyo Olympics.
A dual Commonwealth Games gold medal winner and Rio Olympics silver medallist, Welsford had never won an elite national road cycling title before Friday evening's success.
"I'm over the moon," he said.
"I've always had my eye on this race. This is one I've always wanted to win. It's such a prestigious crit with so many good winners..."
Welsford rated the criterium win right up there among his career achievements.
"I'd never won an elite road medal - this is my first one. Last year I came here and I kind of missed the mark a bit, didn't really execute the race I wanted," he said.
"I put a lot of pressure on myself and a lot more preparation (so) I'm really stoked."
Welsford said he would back-up in Sunday's elite men's road race in Buninyong.
White's brother Liam was part of the leading bunch for much of the 40-lap criterium, but eventually faded to finish 19th overall.
Only 29 of the 59 starters completed the course.