An emotional win has buoyed Australian rising star Alex Edmondson as he enters the biggest year of his cycling career.
The 22-year-old will make his professional debut with the Orica-GreenEDGE team on Friday in the Mitchelton Bay Classic criterium series in Victoria.
Edmondson is splitting this year between GreenEDGE and national track cycling duties as he aims for the Rio Olympics as a member of the powerful track endurance squad.
His sister, Annette, also aims to ride on the track at the Rio Games.
But before Edmondson starts his pro career, he honoured the memory of a friend who died far too young.
Edmondson dedicated his Devonport Wheel Race win on Wednesday to fellow Adelaide rider Shamus Liptrot, who suffered serious injuries in a fall at the 2007 Devonport carnival and died four years later.
"This one's the one I always wanted to do," Edmondson said.
"One of my best mates, Shamus Liptrot, had a horrific crash here and ended up passing away after a very traumatic couple of years.
"I said to him one day I want to win Devonport for you and I am just so stoked to be able to do it for him."
Edmondson won the handicap track race off scratch, overcoming a well-organised Japanese contingent that tried to dominate the final by riding together and setting a withering pace.
Edmondson will now ride in support of defending Bay Classic champion Caleb Ewan.
As usual, Orica-GreenEDGE will field a strong team for the four-race series, which starts on Friday afternoon at Geelong's Ritchie Boulevard.
Mitch Docker and Luke Durbridge will also add horsepower to Ewan's sprint train and Jack Haig is the other team signing who will make his debut at the series.
Haig finished second overall last year at the Tour de l'Avenir, a highly rated French stage race for under-23 riders.