Jake Birtwhistle chose what is believed to be the strongest field ever assembled to finally claim his maiden World Triathlon Series victory.
And the fairytale finish was made sweeter as the 24-year-old from Riverside sprinted home past the man who denied him Commonwealth Games gold last year.
"It's been a long time coming, going after that top step of the podium," Birtwhistle said.
"This was kind of dubbed as the strongest ITU field assembled maybe ever, and to come out and get the win is pretty special.
"There's a big 18 months coming up obviously, and this is a real big confidence booster for me."
In a thrilling climax through the English city of Leeds, Birtwhistle caught South African Henri Schoeman in the final lap of the run to lead home Matthew McElroy, of the US, and third-placed Spaniard Javier Gomez Noya.
After a succession of podium-place finishes (including second in Yokohama and third in Montreal and Edmonton last year), the elusive win continued Birtwhistle's stunning year which had already seen him win Triathlon Australia's best male performer and athletes' athlete awards plus the Tasmanian athlete of the year.
It's been a long time comingJake Birtwhistle
In a succinct post on Facebook, the former Riverside primary and high school student wrote: "So happy to get my first WTS win today, I always thought it was only a matter of time but it feels like a long time coming!
"Thanks to everyone out there supporting in Leeds, it's one of the most incredible races to be a part of, and also to everyone else around the world watching who have sent messages."
Previewing his globe-trotting schedule at the start of the year, Birtwhistle told The Examiner he was keen to do well in Yorkshire after a disappointing time there in 2018.
"I was sick in England last year having travelled from home and picked something up so I was knocked around a bit for the race," he said.
"Leeds is a challenge because of the timing but it was nice last year."
Earlier in the race, Birtwhistle produced one of his strongest swims to take to the bike course in the lead pack alongside Britain's Brownlee brothers, as well as Russell White, of Ireland, and Frenchman Dorian Coninx.
Fending off multiple attacks in the lead pack, Birtwhistle headed onto the run inside the top eight to become the first Australian since Brad Kahlefeldt to win gold on the ITU circuit.
The individual victory will be particularly welcome for Birtwhistle who was an under-23 world champion but has since claimed his best results in the new mixed relay format that will debut at next year's Olympic Games.
The 11-time Australian junior running champion led his country to gold at the 2017 world championships in Hamburg and 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
The WTS heads to Nottingham next weekend for the second stop of the team relay series.
Australian finishers - WOMEN: 14th Natalie Van Coevorden, 18th Kelly-Ann Perkins, 20th Emma Jackson, 28th Gillian Backhouse; MEN: 1st Jake Birtwhistle, 11th Aaron Royle, 31st Luke Willian, 33rd Ryan Fisher, 38th Ryan Bailie
Sign up to our Sport email here.