WIMMERA cyclist Mark O'Brien recorded a spectacular seventh-place finish in the elite men's road race at the Cycling Australia Road National Championships in Ballarat late yesterday afternoon.
In a strong field featuring 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, the 26-year old improved on his results from the past two years at the championships.
O'Brien finished 13th in the 2013 edition and 12th in 2012.
The Avanti Racing Team rider finished 29 seconds behind winner and fellow Victorian Simon Gerrans, who finished the 183.6-kilometre race in four hours, 43 minutes and 43 seconds.
Gerrans beat Evans on the line, with Tasmania's Richie Porte finishing third.
Fellow Wimmera cyclist Sam Witmitz also competed in the road race but did not finish.
Witmitz finished 31st in the elite men's criterium on Thursday night, with O'Brien also racing but not finishing.