Tom Morris revealed his delight after completing the Perfs Pedal with no recurrence of the knee injury which curtailed his 2015 campaign.
The Portsmouth North End (PNE) rider finished 18th in the race 12 months ago.
The results are yet to be verified for this season’s battle, although it is believed he finished in the top 30 once again.
But for Morris, the fact he got off his bike tired but pain-free is worth celebrating.
He said: ‘The knee is absolutely perfect, so I’m really happy about that.
‘It was grand to get through the race and the knee be fantastic.
‘Unfortunately I was off work with the flu on Thursday and Friday, so I wasn’t sure whether I would be okay to ride.
‘I did a little on the trainer on Saturday and just decided to give it a go.
‘I didn’t feel as good as I did last year, that’s for sure.
‘Last year, when I came in with my group I think I was one of the first few up the last hill.
‘This time I tried to attack to get into the front group on Shoot Hill before the left turn up Hundred Acres.
‘I tried to attack then and as soon as I went over the crest of the hill I could feel my legs go weak straight away.
‘I saw the group in front of me and thought if I ever got across to them I would be absolutely trashed anyway.
‘So I just sunk back into the group of six or seven of us who finished in straggles behind.
‘I enjoyed the race, though, and the weather was great.’
Morris was the only PNE rider in the race and was flying the flag in more ways than one.
While sporting the famous red, white and blue jersey, he was also giving his newly-painted bike its first outing.
Morris said: ‘It was my first race with it and it went well.
‘I just thought I’m not in a team like the snazzy Pedal Heaven guys but I’d give myself the best attempt at it and get all suited and booted in the club colours!’
Clanfield’s Harry Veale, who finished 24th last year, has been given 27th spot in the provisional standings.
Meanwhile, George Stainton-Ellis crashed on the final descent to Southwick and fractured his right shoulder blade.
The Waterlooville talent, who was making his debut for Pedal Heaven’s Excel Academy, was going well at the time.
He said: ‘Someone braked and moved across in front of me. They took my front wheel out and sent me tumbling across the road.
‘There was nothing I could do to stay upright and I hit the deck pretty hard.
‘I’m a bit battered and bruised and have fractured my right scapula.
‘Hopefully, it won’t keep me out for too long.’