As the Tour Down Under field swept past the teams area early on Sunday evening, a group of support staff pointed and burst out laughing.
There was Jens Voigt on the attack, not 500 metres into his first race of the year.
If this is the German's farewell season in professional cycling, he is adamant it will be exactly like the rest.
Voigt's fearless racing and ability to cope with pain, coupled with his endearing personality, have made him one of the most popular figures in the sport.
So the fans were rapt on Sunday when Voigt, soon joined by UniSA rider Zac Dempster, launched an audacious breakaway in the People's Choice Classic, a one-off prelude to the six-day tour, which starts today.
Their attack was doomed to failure, but such technicalities have never bothered "Jensie".
"Sometimes you have to say, belief beyond reason," Voigt later said.
Voigt and Dempster stayed away for two-thirds of the street race before the main field caught them.
As the riders left the finish area, it was obvious who the fans singled out for applause.
"I have to entertain the crowd," he said.
At 41, Voigt is the oldest rider in top- level pro cycling, but he still boasts superb fitness and a teenager's enthusiasm.
If he finds himself in the right break, Voigt could well become a contender in this week's Adelaide tour.
"I would really not like to hear `aw, look at him, that's Jens, he was a good rider before, but he missed the point to stop'," Voigt said.