HE'S won world championship gold but Cameron Scott admits his looming Tour Down Under debut is "nerve wracking" ahead of Sunday's opening stage in Adelaide.
The 21-year-old was the fifth rider in the Australia team which clinched team pursuit gold in Poland last February, and is keen to break into the first-choice four for their world title defence in Berlin next month.
But first he's keen to soak up as much as much as possible from racing some of the world's best road cyclists in his world tour race debut.
"I've raced against a few pro teams but it's only been a few at a time, racing against a full peloton full of pro teams is nerve wracking," he said.
"It's probably the highest level I've done on the road and which it's still a track focus, a lot of our training has been on the road.
"You can learn by watching how they up the lead-outs in the different stages. Obviously they do that all the time and it will be good to have a crack at it ourselves.
"The first stage is a criterium, but a different course they've run in previous years which looks more suited to us with a few more corners, and not as fast on the sprint."
Scott expects to share the duties on the main sprint stages for the UniSA-Australia team with track pursuit teammate Sam Welsford.
"I'd like to have a go at some of the sprint stages, but we'll have to share that role around a bit and I'll help the others out on the tougher stages where I can," Scott said.
The competition for spots naturally steps up a gear in an Olympic year, but Scott said having other riders pushing him to his limit can only benefit Australia and himself personally.
"We're really good mates and get along with each other pretty well, which helps the environment day to day," he said.
"Everyone's pushing each other pretty hard and it's a good spot to be in actually, having five guys capable of being in the team.
"We won't really know what the final line-up will be, it could even be the day before when it's decided. It is a nervous wait, but I will keep doing the right things."