KIAMA cyclist Aaron Donnelly has produced one of his best performances finishing second in last weekend's Jayco Herald Sun Tour in Victoria.
Donnelly, who has struggled in recent years on the tour, took out the opening round on Friday in stifling conditions and retained the leader's jersey until Sunday's final stage.
Donnelly established a handy lead on day one and began the third day with a slender 14-second lead over Victorian Calvin Watson, the eventual winner.
The star-studded Jayco Australian team had two riders poised to pounce, in Simon Gerrans and Simon Clarke, both 2mins 45sec behind the lead.
The 93km Searoad Ferries final stage up Arthurs Seat on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, was always going to favour the home-town rider. But Donnelly hung on grimly and battled gallantly in 29th spot to hold on to second place overall. New Zealand's Josh Atkins was in third place overnight and faded to finish in 40th spot, 1min 15sec behind Watson, but good enough for third overall.
Donnelly said he did all he could.
"I left everything out there, I rode my heart out," he said.
"The boys were awesome and I couldn't do anything more. I was beaten by a better man on the day."