Tasmanian sport's Mr Versatile said rejoining cycling's World Tour will not affect his focus on becoming an ironman world champion.
Cameron Wurf's meander through elite sport has seen him become an Olympic rower and Grand Tour cyclist before reaching the heights of fifth place at the ironman world championships.
He even dabbled in triathlon's Olympic distance with a view to earning a spot at the 2020 Games before the announcement this week that he will return to cycling alongside Tour de France winners Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas and Egan Bernal at Team Ineos.
"I could not script being in this position as a sportsman. I couldn't dream it up," Wurf told cyclingtips after the announcement.
"You dream about being in the WorldTour and particularly being in this team.
"I'm 36 now. I don't want to waste anyone's time. And particularly this team that's been so jolly good to me. It's the best team in the world that's asking you to ride for them. And not only that, but in five days, they're like, 'Yeah, OK and by the way, you can race a WorldTour race as your first race back?' I mean, that has to give me confidence.
"I don't think this team just makes rash decisions and goes, 'Oh, look, this will be funny - let's see what happens'. There's some sort of logic to it, obviously, and probably a lot more than I've even been let in on, as to what the plans are for me."
The Hobart-born athlete's baptism of fire was being catapulted into Sunday's Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, leading the peloton through crosswinds just a few kilometres into the 171km ordeal before pulling out after 86km having done his job for the team.
Wurf previously rode WorldTour with Cannondale, contesting major races like the Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a Espana, Paris-Roubaix and Milan-San Remo, but had not raced since 2014.
It's the best team in the world that's asking you to ride for themCameron Wurf
The announcement of his return surprised many, with occasional Tasmanian training partners among those commenting on Instagram.
"Is it April Fools Day?" asked Richie Porte while his Trek-Segafredo teammate Will Clarke helpfully commented that Wurf's new kit matched his hair colour.
Sixteen years after rowing at the Athens Olympics, Wurf said he was thrilled with his latest diversion but insisted another tilt at the ironman world title in Kona, Hawaii, remained his priority.
"It's a lonely sport, what I do and I train a lot. So to break it up a bit and be able to do something that is going to help me in my sport, but most importantly, in a team that appreciates what I'm trying to achieve and is 100 per cent supportive of me getting the best possible result in Kona ... being able to go to a race, with the team embracing that, that for me is really comforting and really exciting.
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"This is just unbelievable. You spend your whole sporting career leaving Australia, to try and pursue the highest level and here I was getting to come back to Australia to race again for the first time in five years. But to do it with a team that ever since they started was the one I dreamed of being with. And obviously the last few years spending more and more time around them, that hunger and desire to do so at some point has only got stronger. So, yeah, I'm rapt.
"The last few years my 100 per cent focus has been on Kona and racing on the road would have been a bit of a distraction. But obviously now we've got to a point where I've progressed a lot in those and riding a bike in a triathlon is obviously something you need to do. And racing potentially could give me an extra edge.
"You've got to be focused on what you're doing. And in this case, racing on the road is just a part of the evolution of getting ready for Kona."
Wurf said he enjoyed his competitive return to the saddle.
"I felt pretty comfortable out there in the peloton. I didn't know if everyone knew it was me and were giving me a bit more space. A lot of guys said hello and welcome back which was really nice," he told cyclingnews.
"It was a great way to start. It was tough but I'm glad I did it now, as early as possible. Now I know what to expect and to improve for next time."
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