FIVE-TIME Tour de France champion Bernard Hinault capped off a memorable day for Maryborough's Jay McCarthy in France.
The 19-year-old Queenslander won the prologue opener of the prestigious Tour de l'Avenir and Hinault presented the yellow jersey to him.
McCarthy clocked 4:14.74secs to complete the 3.7km course through the streets of Dole, south east of Dijon, and finished half a second faster than Denmark's Lasse Hansen.
It was McCarthy's first win since he won a stage of the Tour de Bretagne in France in April.
The Jayco-AIS rider had no doubt just what the victory meant to him.
"This is the biggest win of my career," McCarthy, who is hoping a strong performance in this event will earn him selection in the Australian under-23 men's team for the UCI Road World Championships in the Netherlands next month, said.
"Saying that, I have to say I am a little surprised by the result because I've been preparing to go for the overall and to race well in the last three stages in the French Alps."
The Tour de l'Avenir runs for seven days.
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