Richie Porte's lifelong dream of a Tour de France podium will be achieved in Paris on Sunday night.
After a decade of misfortune and misery at the world's biggest annual sporting event, the 35-year-old Tasmanian is destined to finish third.
The Launceston-born rider said he will be able to retire happy after capping his numerous previous cycling achievements which included multiple stage race wins, two world championship top-10 finishes and the 2016 Olympic Games.
Porte produced the time trial of his life to finish third on the penultimate stage of this year's delayed race which was enough to leapfrog Colombian Miguel Lopez into the same position on the overall standings.
Becoming just the second Australian to podium at Le Tour, the result prompted widespread celebrations from the Vosges Mountains of eastern France to his parents' home in Launceston.
"For me, it's an absolute dream," said Porte, who missed the birth of his second child two weeks ago to compete in his 10th Tour de France.
"I grew up watching the Tour on the other side of the world, seeing guys like Robbie McEwan, Cadel Evans, and Brad McGee.
"To finally crack the podium here is an absolutely incredible feeling. It's going to take a little while to sink in, but, you know, it's been a journey.
"Most of you know the battles that I've had, the dramas along the way.
"It doesn't matter what races you have won, the Tour's the one you are judged on.
"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."
That photo will be taken on the Champs-Élysées on Sunday night (Tastime) before Porte can return to his European base in Monaco to be with his wife Gemma, their son Luca and the daughter he is yet to meet, Eloise.
Having begun the year with a victory at the Tour Down Under, Porte only needs to get safely through Sunday's ceremonial final stage to cap it with his best ever result.
He will only get a couple of days with his family before travelling on to Italy to contest the world championship road race next weekend.
The Trek-Segafredo team leader started the 20th stage individual time trial 1 minute and 39 seconds behind Lopez (Astana) after another Tour featuring crosswind time losses, untimely punctures and plenty of mountain-top drama.
"It's been a good battle between (Mikel) Landa (Bahrain-McLaren), Lopez, and myself, but in a time trial I knew I should be able to beat them, though you still have those lingering doubts in the back of your mind.
"I started getting time checks from (team director) Kim Andersen, then on the radio he said, 'Three K to go, Richie, you're going to get your dream!' It was such a sweet moment."
Porte completed the 36.2-kilometre stage in 57 minutes and 16 seconds, to finish 2:28 ahead of fourth-placed Landa and behind only Tadej Pogacar (UAE-Team Emirates) and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma).
The two Slovenians swapped overall places on the time trial, Pogacar becoming Le Tour's youngest winner in 116 years and claiming victory in the youth, mountains and general classifications a day before his 22nd birthday.
"There's never an easy Tour de France," Porte added.
"I came here in great shape, and the team didn't put that much stress on me. Every day has been full gas, and all the guys played their part.
"I know I shouldn't single anyone out, but Mads Pedersen has been absolutely incredible. He's probably got more belief in me and my abilities than I do. Every night he would come to my room and explain: 'This is how it's going to be; you follow my wheel and it'll be fine.' And it was. You can't do this without a team and what a team we had!"
Run later than usual due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the race handed Porte and his wife an agonising decision.
"Once the whole coronavirus thing kicked off, and the Tour was rescheduled, I guess that's just me, the luck I have, that I would miss the birth of my daughter. My wife Gemma said to me: 'Go to the Tour, do your thing.' She had a plan. The other thing she said was: 'If I turn the television on and you're at the back of the peloton, I'll be a little bit pissed.
"The team gave me the option to leave, which was incredible for a team to do. It's a very humane team. I came here, and I knew I had a mission to achieve. To miss the birth - I feel like this goes a little bit of the way to make it worthwhile."