Louis Rose-Davies enhanced his growing reputation with a superb sixth place on stage three of the Rás Tailteann on Tuesday.
Last season’s national junior champion was just a couple of bike lengths adrift of victorious Dutchman Luuc Bugter in a thrilling sprint into Listowel.
His Canyon Eisberg team-mate Rory Townsend had spent much of the 140.4km stage out of Tipperary in the breakaway – only admitting defeat with 5km to go.
Rose-Davies quickly picked up the baton, though, and showed his class among some of Europe’s most promising sprinters.
Having only turned 19 in March, it was another feather in the fledgling cap of the Surrey-born prospect in just his sixth UCI senior outing.
Townsend, Matt Nowell, Dexter Gardias and Max Stedman all finished within the bunch as Cyrille Thiery, of the Swiss national squad, held on to the yellow jersey.
Gardias remains Canyon Eisberg’s best-placed rider in the general classification. He goes into Wednesday’s fourth stage in seventh spot at 16 seconds.
The other four are with the main group at 35 seconds, although Nowell, Rose-Davies and Stedman are just 22 adrift of Belgian Robbe Ghys in the youth classification.
Stedman, who hopes to shine on the seven KOMs featured in stage four’s race to Glengarriff, is fourth in the mountains competition.
Stage three saw the riders roll out of Tipperary at the now-customary fierce Rás pace on Tuesday morning.
After a series of failed escape bids, one including Brit Andy Turner from the Team KTM squad, Townsend attacked with Jason van Dalen, of Delta Cycling.
They earned a small gap approaching the 40km mark before completing more than 47km in the opening hour of action.
But it wasn’t until four chasers had made the junction that the peloton eased up and allowed their advantage to grow.
Saint Piran’s Fraser Martin, Jelly Belly’s Curtis White, James Tillett, from the Wales Racing Academy, and Seán O’Malley, of the Galway Gerry McVeigh Cars outfit, completed the group.
And as the sun beat down in Ireland, the breakaway enjoyed a lead of more than 2min 40sec with 50km of the stage remaining.
Tillett and Martin were the only riders capable of holding the wheels of Townsend and van Dalen when the pace ramped up within the final 20km.
Then with 10km to go the powerful pair jumped away in a final bid for glory. With no more than 15 seconds on the bunch now, the move had little hope of success.
And so it proved as Townsend and van Dalen eventually waved the white flag and shook hands 5km from the line.
A thrilling kick for the line then ensued and the slight figure of Rose-Davies put himself firmly in the mix.
Ultimately, the power of points classification leader Bugter, of Delta Cycling, proved too much for the teenager.
German Lucas Carstensen, from Bike Aid, was second ahead of Belgian Lindsay de Vylder and Robert John McCarthy.
But for Rose-Davies is was a timely reminder of the talent which has seen him emerge from the junior ranks as one of Britain’s brightest prospects.
Stage four, from Listowel to Glengarriff, covers a distance of 153km and with seven categorised climbs the first sparring among the GC riders is expected. Racing begins at 11am.