Cadel Evans's victory in the 2011 Tour, the first ever by an Australian, was a cause for major celebration in his native country.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard personally telephoned Evans after his triumphant entrance into Paris, and on his arrival back home tens of thousands lined the streets of Melbourne to welcome him home.
Evans was the oldest man to win Le Tour in the post-war era, aged 35, and his victory represented the ultimate fulfillment of years of promise.
Overlooked as an athlete at school - "physically I am completely unsuitable for almost all Australian school sports" - and lucky to be alive after a horse kicked him in the head aged eight, Evans's first love was mountain-biking, and he only switched to road cycling in 2000.
From there it was a rapid ascent up the ranks, and by the late-2000s Evans had established himself as one of the most consistent riders on the tour. Four straight top-10 finishes in the Tour de France between 2005 and 2008, including two second places, proved his ability to compete with the best.
But it was only with his move to BMC Racing Team in 2010 that Evans was finally able to win the elusive yellow jersey. After an early setback when he suffered a hairline fracture to his elbow during the 2010 Tour, the move brought success, with victories in the 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour de Romandie in the run-up to the Tour de France.
Evans was overlooked by many going into the Tour, and did not wear the yellow jersey until Stage 20, after a marvellous individual time-trial on the streets of Grenoble.
That ride demonstrated Evans's astonishing reserves of mental fortitude, though his victory was also sealed earlier in the Tour with the help of some street-wise team-mates, notably experienced American George Hincapie, a former domestique for Lance Armstrong.
"It's the culmination of many, many years of work for a lot of people," Evans said after that victory. "I've also come very close before, but just for a little bit of bad luck it didn't quite come through."
The luck appears to be with Evans again this year, though. With injury keeping out fellow podium challenger Andy Schleck this time around, and with Evans again in good form after victory in the Criterium International, few would bet against the Australian retaining his title.
Follow ITVCycling on Twitter