Christchurch rider Michael Vink hopes he may come into the Olympic frame if he can follow up his sensational victory at the national road cycling championship on Sunday with good results when he goes to Europe.
The 20-year-old leaves on February 20 to join a Belgian team for seven months.
His primary goal is to do well enough to get a pro contract, but he has hopes he can put up his hand for Olympic selection even though riders like Greg Henderson and Julian Dean are front-runners for the two road spots.
"I've not had any indication of that [selection], but it could change so quickly," he said.
"All I can do is keep doing what I'm doing, and if the selectors want me, they'll let me know."
If might not be London this year, but Vink stands out as an outstanding prospect in the sport - and certainly in line for world under-23 championship selection.
As well as being the overall winner - in course record time - of the 183km national road race on the Port Hills, he retained the national under-23 title, and on Friday he also won the under-23 time trial title for the second time.
Vink was thrilled not just by his win but by getting his planned tactics perfectly right in a challenging race in which only 13 of the 70 riders withstood trying heat to finish.
The Pegasus rider felt he relaxed too much after his success at last year's nationals, so returned immediately to hard training this week.
"I treat it [Sunday] as another bike race," he said. "It's only the start of what's to come, not the end."
At 20 he can only get better. "Even the last couple of months in training I've come so far, and I'm constantly surprising myself."
He's joining VL Technics-Abutriek in Belgium - a small team that would give him good race starts, he said.
Riding for it would be "top of the amateurs" and, he hopes, a springboard for a pro contract.
"It'll be a quality programme throughout the whole year, and I've got to show consistency and get results," he said.
Vink has raced in Europe before, including six months in 2009, and that experience taught him to be self-reliant and showed the importance of doing basic things well, including eating properly, he said.