When Sam Spokes decided to get back into competitive racing, he never imagined that he would be doing it from the comfort of his own home and with the race projected through a screen in front of him.
But with all National Road Series races suspended until September the series has gone virtual.
So on Saturday the former pro cyclist suited up in his Avantis Pro Racing (APR) racing kit and hooked up his bike for what was the first of six races to be staged using the online cycling platform Zwift.
A 16 lap criterium around the City's Downtown Dolphin Circuit, it was the first NRS race the 28-year old has ridden in since his under-19s days and was "a bit of a baptism of fire".
Not really his "cup of tea type racing" - he would prefer to ride in the rain than on the indoor trainer - Spokes only had his first race on the platform the night before.
"It's definitely a lot harder than the normal type of racing," he said.
"It's not so much positioning and tactics, and you can't sort of save energy in through corners and what not. It's just as hard as you can, non-stop for 40 minutes."
"I sort of got found out myself pretty well that I'm a fair bit below where I need to be in that type of racing."
"But at the end of the day I wasn't too worried about that.
"It was a good learning experience and I know I've got a bit of work to do before the next one."
The next race is scheduled for May 16.
Spokes said between now and then he will look at doing a few more of the Zwift races. He has really just been trying to maintain his fitness rather than training at that higher aerobic threshold required for racing.
"It's probably something I haven't been for probably five years - in that sort of heart rate zone of high 190 heart rate, so it's something the body is going to take a little bit to get used to," he said.
After retiring from pro cycling in 2017, Spokes was approached earlier this year about taking on a mentoring role with the APR team and was just about to start ramping up his kilometres and intensity when coronavirus hit.
"I've pretty much just sort of kept the riding ticking over with not too many efforts until we have a clear idea of some dates, which they've come out with in the last couple of weeks," he said.
Around September is looking like when things will start to gear up again.
Until then it will be virtual world.
The platform doesn't really replicate racing conditions but is a good training tool, Spokes said.
"There's probably not much better training, it's sort of an hour on the absolute threshold," he said.
Sam Jenner, Ryan Thomas and Michael Harris, who is also rides with APR, were also among the 135 starters.