Hannes Arch looked favourite to win the Red Bull Air Race World Championships last season until mistakes in the second half of the year saw him plummet down the rankings and lose the world title.
However, after failing to land on the podium in six races, the Austrian finally claimed victory this weekend, beating Martin Sonka, Matt Hall and Michael Goulian in a thrilling final four in Croatia.
It is the second time Arch has won in Rovinj but he had to work hard for it in one of the closest contests in the sport’s history. The top five riders in qualifying were within a quarter of a second of each other and current rankings leader Paul Bonhomme could only manage eighth place.
Hall is now level on points with the Brit in the race for the world title after his third straight podium, while Sonka was celebrating a career-best second place.
But the happiest man in Croatia will be Arch after propelling himself into third overall, putting him back among the contenders for overall glory in 2015.
The next race takes place in Budapest on July 4th and 5th.