When asked one's hopes for a New Year, one has the opportunity to be as greedy as one damn well wants.
When Richie Porte was asked that very question a few years back, he replied: "To make the podium of the Tour de France."
He didn't ask to win it, as any other red-blooded elite athlete probably would. He said he would be satisfied just to make the top three.
It may have taken a while - and also been preceded by several nightmares - but dreams sometimes do come true.
The race that owed Porte has repaid its debt.
All the crashes, punctures, illness and misfortune of years gone by were forgotten when the 35-year-old Tasmanian added one step of about 30 centimetres vertical elevation to the tens of thousands of metres he had accumulated over the last three weeks.
Of course there had to be drama along the way. As Porte said, it would have been too easy otherwise.
More horrendously-timed punctures, hurried bike swaps, cruel crosswinds and crashing teammates prompted SBS anchor Mike Tomalaris to ask: "What is it about Richie and the bad luck he has been plagued with ... it always seems to be the same person year in year out."
Cycling Weekly ran with the same theme, observing: "It can only be assumed that Richie Porte has spent most of his life breaking mirrors and walking underneath ladders."
Through it all, Porte stayed both calm and patient, gradually emerging as the third strongest rider in the race and eventually proving it with a general classification progression over the last 15 stages of: 20th, 13th, 11th, 11th, 11th, 11th, 9th, 9th, 6th, 6th, 4th, 4th, 4th, 3rd, 3rd.
"When you get up on the stage and they introduce you not as coming from Australia but Tasmania, that's the most proud moment for me."— Rob Shaw (@TheShawThing) September 21, 2020
Emotional and humorous reflections of @richie_porte on his @LeTour podium.@TrekSegafredo@CyclingAus@CyclingCentralhttps://t.co/JyRb5aqlMJ
That significant penultimate-stage rise meant he became just the second Australian to grace a podium in Le Tour's 117-year history following Cadel Evans whose 2011 win was preceded by two second places in 2007-08.
Throughout his 10 assaults on the Tour de France, five other Grand Tours, world championships, classics, the 2016 Olympic Games and 32 pro wins, Porte has become as much a Tasmanian ambassador as he is an Australian cyclist.
When it comes to not forgetting where you come from, Richie not only wrote the book, but launched another.
For all the fame, fortune and global travel that come with his choice of career, he remains unshakably rooted in Northern Tasmania.
He described the brutal final eight minutes of the stage 20 time trial as "a few more Balfour Streets" and on his chosen sport's grandest stage deployed the same mindset he used a decade and a half earlier on social rides in Launceston.
He joked of the culture change between Hadspen and Tuscany, took pride in being introduced on stage as a Tasmanian rather than an Australian and famously wears a map of his island home everywhere he races.
He has staunchly supported the Stan Siejka Launceston Cycling Classic from its outset, asked for appearance fee cheques to be made out to Launceston Mountain Bike Club and never failed to make time for his home-town newspaper.
Porte happily agreed to be a guest speaker for The Examiner's junior sport awards, launched the sports editor's highly-entertaining Shaw Things book (a bargain at just $29.95) and on a hectic Sunday night media schedule promised to call us back "as soon as I've finished talking to The Times".
There's still plenty of copies of https://t.co/8AKGz5AuXa available ($29.95) and just look how happy it made Hadspen sporting legends @Corey_Martin91 and @richie_porte.— Rob Shaw (@TheShawThing) September 8, 2020
You too could be that happy. Order at firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook.
Happy to post ($42.20) or deliver. pic.twitter.com/ay6YrZpkPQ
It was almost certainly the London, rather than Canberra, version.
Tasmanians have been spoilt. For 11 years we have watched the world's biggest annual sporting event with a vested interest.
National teammates at the 2010 road world championships on home soil in Geelong, Wes Sulzberger (2010), Matthew Goss (2011-13) and Porte (2011-20) have kept our island on the cycling map.
The run is not over.
The announcement of Porte's new team will be made this week.
Secrets in pro cycling are like Chelsea in the English Premier League - poorly kept. Tomalaris for one has been telling viewers for several days now that Porte is returning to INEOS, the team where he enjoyed perhaps his most prolonged success, largely in support of Chris Froome.
"I said to my wife that the photo that I want to have when I retire is the one standing on the podium in Paris."— Rob Shaw (@TheShawThing) September 20, 2020
That photo will be taken on the Champs-Élysées on Sunday night.
Porte will be going to work as a domestique for last year's Tour champion Egan Bernal, although given their respective performances this year, the team might want to consider swapping those roles.
Before all that he has a world championship road race in Italy next week and an even more important date in Monaco before then.
After finishing a tough work shift at La Planche des Belles Filles, he went home to finally meet a belle fille of his own.
"I can retire happy," Porte said as he left the Paris podium and flew home to his wife Gemma, son Luca and daughter Eloise who he was yet to meet.
Retirement should be at least another couple of years - and hopefully as many Tours - away.
But his comment did evoke a feeling of deja vu involving another Tasmanian sporting ambassador with identical initials.
When Ricky Ponting stood down as captain of the Australian One-Day International and Test sides in 2011, it seemed like the end of an era in Tasmanian cricket.
Who would have thought that within a few years, George Bailey and Tim Paine would be filling those respective roles?
The challenge for Tasmanian cycling is to find the next Richie Porte.
Despite him having tiny feet, they are huge shoes to fill.