It's been six months since her last race and Springwood cyclist Amanda Spratt is excited to be back in the saddle and is firmly focused on the world championships.
The elite athlete competed in Spain last week, ahead of her first World Tour race, the Strade Bianche, in Italy on August 1.
"It was important to get some racing in the legs again before the World Tour starts and many teams felt the same way so the quality of competition was extremely high," Spratt said.
"We have a lot of health protocols and testing procedures around the race so we are racing in a responsible way, so it feels a bit different but it was great to be back in the peloton and see everyone again."
After concussion sustained during a crash at Strade Bianche last year, Spratt is hoping for a better outcome this time.
"We normally race this in March and some years have had snow and ice in the roads, so racing in August in peak summer will offer another challenge with the dust and heat," the 32-year-old said.
Due to the coronavirus, the Women's World Tour races have been compressed into three months of intense racing.
Spratt is focused on the Road World Championships in September, where she rode to a bronze medal last year and silver the year prior.
"They are in Switzerland on an extremely hard and hilly course so it will suit me and the Aussie team well," she said.
The cyclist will also target the the Giro d'Italia in September and then the Ardennes Classics - a trio of races in Belgium and the Netherlands in late September and October.
Spratt's form is "building". She was in Italy at the start of the pandemic, but has been in Switzerland since lockdown, which has enabled her to continue training outside and keep a good level of base fitness.
"It was hard at times with no goals to train for and not knowing if there would even be a season at all, but it was also important to remember how serious this situation was and the health of everyone was far more important than any bike race ever will be," she said.