Three-time Tour De France winner Chris Froome made his way through the Goulburn Valley on Saturday.
The British superstar was one of about 100 elite cyclists to compete in stage three of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
But defending champion Froome did not go close to contending, with Arizona sprinter Travis McCabe the victor as he finished about two bike lengths ahead of Australians Mitch Docker and Leigh Howard.
Racing began in Benalla, with cyclists heading along the Midland Hwy, before passing through Violet Town.
It was then on to Euroa before cyclists made it to Nagambie before crossing the finishing line of the 167.7km stage at Mitchelton Winery.
McCabe was able to navigate his way through a major crash only kilometres before the end to come out on top.
‘‘Mitch (Docker) attacked at 200m to go and I just knew I had the legs and so I went as soon as he did and held it to the line with a fairly decent gap, so I’m really happy,’’ McCabe said.
‘‘The crash was unfortunate. It came down to a sprint, but a lot of guys weren’t really there for it because of that crash.
‘‘It would have been nice to see how my legs hold up against the true sprinters.
‘‘It was about staying safe and out of trouble.
‘‘You are so close to everyone and everyone’s head-butting and everyone’s fighting. I think the heat and that little climb took a lot of energy out of the legs.’’
The prestigious Jayco Herald Sun Tour finished up on Sunday, with Orica-Scott’s Damien Howson crowned champion.
Team Sky’s Ian Stannard won the final stage that finished at Kinglake, but Howson came through in the third group having held off challenges from Froome.
‘‘It’s a big sigh of relief. It’s been an amazing week and to finish it off the way we did... I couldn’t be happier,’’ Howson said.
‘‘It comes with a lot of honour. There’s a lot of prestigious names on the (winners’) list. I’m really happy to join that list.
‘‘To get my first win only a couple of days ago and to continue all the way though ... this is my first overall win ever. It’s nice to break into new territory.’’