Philippe Gilbert of Belgium won the men's road race Sunday at the road cycling world championships in the Netherlands, sprinting away on the closing Cauberg climb for victory.
Gilbert, who has twice won the Amstel Gold Race in the same hilly Dutch province, showed his experience by waiting patiently before powering away from a large group, punching the air as he crossed the line.
Gilbert lives nearby and knows the course well, winning back-to-back Amstel Gold Race titles in 2010 and 2011.
"I'm a local boy so it is incredible," he said.
Gilbert is a one-day classic specialist who eats up small, steep hills like those in Sunday's race.
"I profited from a course that suited me really well," he said.
Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway was second and Alejandro Valverde of Spain third.
The peloton kept up a strength-sapping pace throughout the 267-kilometre race, preventing any serious breakaways and setting up the thrilling finish.
Gilbert crossed the line in six hours 10 minutes 41 seconds. Boasson Hagen was four seconds back and Valverde five seconds behind the Belgian.
Defending champion Mark Cavendish of Britain dropped out midway through the gruelling race after riding more than 100 kilometres at or near the front of the main peloton to help his Britain teammates.
Cavendish's fellow Briton Bradley Wiggins, who had already won the Tour de France and Olympic time trial this year, also dropped out well before the finish.