Team Sky's Richie Porte became the first Australian champion of Paris-Nice, cementing his hold on the yellow jersey with a dominating ride in the final stage 9.6km time trial to hold off the challenge of Garmin-Sharp's Andrew Talansky.
To succeed such great names as (Tony) Martin and Bradley (Wiggins) is huge for me. I feel very honoured.
The 28 year old began the day with a 32-second lead over Talansky in the prestigious race and came home in a time of 19min 16sec to wrap up the overall victory.
He increased his overall advantage to 55 seconds with a rock solid showing in the time-trial that featured a rolling course suited to his talents.
The Tasmanian, who only turned professional in 2010, picked up the biggest win of his career, although he had finished seventh in his debut season on the Giro d'Italia after holding the leader's pink jersey for three days and finishing the race at best young rider.
Jean-Christophe Peraud (AG2R) snatched the final place on the overall podium by finishing fourth on the day to push Tejay Van Garderen (BMC) into fourth overall while Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) had to settle for fifth.
Rick Flens (Blanco), the first man out of the start gates, setting a reference time of 22min 35sec. But he was quickly toppled from top spot by France's Jeremy Roy (FDJ), the first rider to beat 21 minutes in 20min 59sec.
Roy's mark was improved by Mattia Cattaneo (Lampre-Merida) with a time of 20min 51sec. Jerome Coppel (Cofidis) was next to sit on the hot seat after a ride that rewarded him with a time of 20min 33sec. Former Giro winner Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) then seized the lead with a 20min 19sec ride.
The first rider to finish in less than 20 minutes was Colombia's Nairo Quintana (Movistar) with a 19min 43sec ride which held until Talansky and Porte crossed the finish line.
White jersey holder Talansky was improving on Quintana's times with every kilometre. But there was no denying Porte the victory he deserved.
The Australian led from the gun and crossed the line in 19min 16sec, only four seconds slower than Sky team-mate Bradley Wiggins's record climb a year ago.
"To succeed such great names as (Tony) Martin and Bradley (Wiggins) is huge for me. I feel very honoured," Porte said after the race.
"I'm still doing my apprenticeship and learning off Brad and Chris (Froome) and I don't expect to ride for general classification at the Tour - maybe next year at the Giro.
"I'm in a good place at the moment and don't really want to change anything. Whatever happens we're going to have a hell of a team for the Tour de France."
Stage 7: 9.6km Nice to Col d’Èze
1 Richie Porte (AUS) Sky 19min 16sec
2 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:23
3 Nairo Alexander Quintana (COL) Movistar 0:00:27
4 Jean-Christophe Peraud (FRA) AG2R 0:00:32
5 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC 0:00:52
6 Simon Spilak (SLO) Katusha 0:00:55
7 Diego Ulissi (ITA) Lampre-Merida 0:01:00
8 Michele Scarponi (ITA) Lampre-Merida 0:01:03
9 Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:01:05
10 Jon Izaguirre (ESP) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:01:06
1 Richie Porte (AUS) Sky 29hr 59min 47sec
2 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp 0:00:55
3 Jean-Christophe Peraud (FRA) AG2R 0:01:21
4 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC 0:01:44
5 Sylvain Chavanel (FRA) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:01:47
6 Simon Spilak (SLO) Katusha 0:01:48
7 Diego Ulissi (ITA) Lampre-Merida 0:01:54
8 Lieuwe Westra (NED) Vacansoleil-DCM 0:02:17
9 Andreas Klöden (GER) RadioShack Leopard Trek 0:02:22
10 Peter Velits (SVK) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:02:28