One of the region's hardest-working and most talented athletes will ply his trade on cycling's premier tour next year.
For Inverell's Dylan Sunderland, his pending entry on to the ICU World Tour is the realisation of a goal his has pursued with lung-busting vim.
And what a send-off the 23-year-old gave himself: he has departed the amateur ranks a winner after claiming his second-straight Spirit of Tasmania Tour, in Devonport on Saturday.
He came 12th in Saturday's criterium, keeping the yellow jersey and finishing the general classification 36 seconds ahead of his Team BridgeLane teammate Chris Harper. Another teammate, Tyler Lindorff, finished in third place - one minute and 36 seconds behind Sunderland.
Sunderland will ride for South African-based Team NTT, formally Team Dimension Data, on the World Tour.
"It's what I've been working towards ... to become a professional cyclist," he said.
"It's what I've spent so many years working towards. So to achieve that, it's just super exciting. I can't wait to get going next year."
Sunderland had competed extensively and successfully around the world for several years, trying to show that he was World Tour material. And he knew that he had a limited window to do that.
When he inked the deal with Team NTT in August, he would have known that his life was about to change.
Accordingly, he will soon swap the quiet streets of Inverell for the beautiful historical city of Girona, located in Spain's northwestern Catalonia region. It has a population of about 750,000 and is located close to Barcelona.
Sunderland said: "It's a well-known area for cyclists ... It has really good weather all year round and really nice terrain. Generally a nice place to live."
Sunderland said he would initially compete in smaller tours "to help ease me into that next level".
"Obviously it's a much higher level than what we're racing at the moment," he said. "So it's probably gonna be a bit of a shock to the system to start off."