TWO years ago he was just thrilled to get to the finish line.
On Sunday Josh Berry was the first to get there in the Blayney to Bathurst.
Berry attacked at the foot of Rockley Mount and by the top he carried almost a minute advantage that Mudgee's Ayden Toovey couldn't reel in by the time the winning rider from Wollongong made it to Mount Panorama.
His debut Blayney to Bathurst in 2012 was a test for Berry to see if he could even make the distance.
After a top 10 finish last year he's now made one rapid rise through the ranks.
"That was always our team plan, to get to that hill and just drill it if we could and hopefully make something happen. Ideally I would have liked another one or two people to ride with," Berry said.
"I got a time check and I had a teammate behind me sitting on so I just committed, gave it everything and I was lucky that it all worked out."
Berry and his Cellarbrations teammate Scott Bradbury were the remnants of an earlier breakaway, with Toovey and eventual third-placed Ben Harvey the last survivors.
When Berry made the attack at the base of the major climb no one could go with him and by the peak he opened up a decisive break of just under a minute.
The final time of two hours, 42 minutes and 20 seconds from Berry over the 110 kilometre long course put him less than half a minute clear of a Toovey.
Harvey won a three-way sprint on the line to fill the podium over Cru Halliday and Bradbury.
Berry said the race got off to a nervy start as the field was very hesitant to let another grab the advantage.
"It took quite a while for a break to establish. People were trying to find the right mix and everyone wanted to be in it," he said.
"It took about 50 kilometres before the break came. When it did it was a good mix and everyone worked well together."
Berry says the race has found a special place on his cycling calendar.
"Been getting better every year. The first year was actually my first ever race and I was just happy to finish that one. It's one of my favourite races and it's a great weekend,” Berry said.