In 2017 Callum Dolby was preparing for his maiden Grafton to Inverell race, unsure if he would even complete the 228 kilometre challenge.
That year he snagged the division three title.
Fast forward to row, and Dolby - coached by division one race favourite Ryan Thomas - will compete in division two in Saturday's race.
Despite his success, he maintains a humble attitude.
"Last time all I wanted to do was finish, so I feel like if I go in with the same mentality, who knows," he said.
"As far as my prep's gone, it hasn't been great. I've been sick quite a lot in the last month, which has affected things, but I'll just go in the same way I did last time, hoping to stay with the main group, and then see what happens."
He admitted that repeating what has become known as Australia's toughest one day cycle race was even more nerve-wracking than his maiden ride because "I know what I'm in for this time".
A member of Queensland's Campos Cycling Team, Dolby has enjoyed the opportunity to compete more regularly, taking on the state's Criterium Championships last month.
Dolby also faced his first National Road Series Race, the Tour de Brisbane.
"That was very tough and unfortunately I crashed the first day, and ruined my second day. But it was still a really good experience."
After a focus on sprint speed over the past year, Dolby is unsure if he will maintain his endurance this year.
"The hill, Gibraltar, is probably going to make more of an impact on me this year than when I did it last year, just because the type of training I've been doing," he said.
Along with Thomas, who remains a frontrunner after coming fifth last year, Dolby is excited to see more locals compete.
He said Dylan Sunderland is once again one of the favourites in A Grade, while his brother Zak Sunderland "has a real opportunity to very, very well this year". He was impressed by mountain biker Brent Rees, who is coming back from severe injury to compete in the A Grade.
Also worth a watch are Alwyn Miller in his eighth Grafton to Inverell competition and Codie Miller in his first attempt.
As local riders prepare for the 59th annual Grafton to Inverell Classic, keep your eyes peeled for more Inverell Times profile stories.