IT might not have been the colours of a national champion, but Bathurst-based rider Tom Bolton was still delighted to claim the sprint jersey after an impressive showing at the Cycling Australia Road National Championships.
Under 23s rider Bolton, who is part of the Oliver's Real Food Racing outfit, did not reach the finish of Thursday night's criterium in Ballarat.
But when it came to the under 23s road road on Saturday at Buninyong, Bolton's legs were up to the task.
Tackling 12 laps of an 11.6 kilometre course which took riders up the notorious leg-burning Mount Buninyong climb tested the field.
Of the 119 starters, 55 withdrew being reaching the finish.
But Bolton got himself into an early seven-rider breakaway group and they worked well together, opening up a two minutes, 35 seconds buffer over the peloton after three laps.
Bolton won the first intermediate sprint with 10 laps to go and five laps later in the second sprint, placed second.
While Bolton was not ultimately able to follow when others attacked off the front to battle it out for a podium spot, he had still done enough to claim the sprint jersey.
He crossed the line in 11th position, three minutes and 31 seconds after Jarrad Drizners (3:37.06) had claimed gold.
Meanwhile, Bathurst Cycling Club graduate Emily Watts also enjoyed a good under 23s campaign at nationals.
After claiming bronze in the time trial, she placed fourth in the criterium and road race.