The experienced Christchurch cyclist Hayden Roulston has won his third national road race title.
Roulston rode down professional teammate George Bennett in the final 3kms to win the 180km event in Christchurch.
Roulston overcame a 48 second deficit on the final of the 12 laps of the elite men's race before the Radioshack Nissan Trek pair rode together to the finish.
Roulston claimed the win to add to his titles won in 2006 and 2011.
Outstanding Auckland prospect James Oram, who had ridden bravely with Roulston in the latter stages, held on to be third overall and claim the under-23 honours.
It did not prove the fairytale finish for the country's most illustrious cyclist Julian Dean, who sprinted home the chase bunch to take the final place on the podium in his last race as a professional.