He's been dreaming of winning the Blayney to Bathurst ever since he first contested it as a 14-year-old and on Sunday Sam Hill finally ascended to the top step of the podium.
The Hunter District rider was part of a six-man breakaway group during the 110-kilometre, long course event before he raced clear on the climb up Rockley Mount.
Hill made the solo move stick as he crossed the new finishing line on Mount Panorama's Pit Straight in a time of two hours, 31 minutes and 53 seconds.
Saturday's division one criterium champion Luke Cridland (+0.37) won the bunch sprint for second ahead of Angus Calder (+0.39).
Hill also took out the King of the Mountain prize courtesy of being the first rider to reach the top of Rockley Mount.
"I know it's a bit corny but there were a few tears welling up because I've been doing this race since I was 14," Hill said.
"After so many years of doing Bathurst I'm so glad that I could get it."
Wet weather didn't stop the peloton from creating a high tempo at the start of Sunday's race.
Several early breakaway attempts were made, including some by Hill, but it wasn't until the 15km mark where the six-man group successfully got away.
Hill, Ben Marshall, Oliver Murray, Gene Richards, Christopher Aitken and Hodges formed the lead group who grew their lead out to 90 seconds at its biggest margin.
The peloton brought the gap back under a minute over the back half of the race.
At the Georges Plains turnoff, where long course riders are meant to ride straight away, two of the breakaway bunch wrongly made a left turn while three others waited at the intersection in confusion.
The home city rider Hodges was the only rider to power through the intersection in the correct direction but the rest of the breakaway group caught up.
"The sensations weren't great going into the base of Rockley. I noticed GPM Stulz were chasing really hard. We only had 50 seconds and I could see the peloton and I'm like 'come on guys I need to get going'," Hill said.
"When we hit the base of Rockley I attacked and I didn't think I'd get away that easily. At the KOM I thought I had a decent gap, there's a downhill run and I'm going to put in the 53-11 [gear ratio], keep it there and see what happens."
Rockley Mount's ascent comes in two climbs, separated by a brief downhill dash.
In was in that middle downhill section where Hill started to break clear of the chasing Richards and Hodges.
Calder had made a move from the peloton during the challenging climb and helped to drive the chase attempt.
However, Hill had done enough to build up a significant break and he had time to start his celebrations all the way back at the Pit Straight bridge.
"Historically the break has won here before so I thought this year I'd try and get in the break and if it comes back I might still have the legs over Rockley anyway," Hill said.
"I knew every single person in the break. We're all really good friends so it was great to have that cohesion."
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