Georgia Williams has forgone the chance to ride in one of the bigger women's cycling events for a shot at wearing the silver fern.
The Kiwi, who in November extended her contract with Australian professional team Mitchelton-Scott, isn't competing at this week's women's Tour Down Under, so that she can reclaim a title that means so much more to her.
"The national road championships are more important and I have some teammates over there who can do TDU instead," Williams told the Weekend Herald from her temporary Auckland base.
"My team wanted me to go over to Australia for it [the TDU], and obviously I can get over there fine, but then coming back home in February, I'd have to quarantine for two weeks in a hotel."
It may seem odd. Why would Williams give up racing for her pro team, just to spend time riding at home in a low-profile event?
The 2018 national champ gives a refreshing answer.
"I wasn't able to race nationals last year because I had a concussion. It's such an honour to wear the silver fern throughout the whole season in Europe and it's just a feeling I want back again.
"I'm getting older now and I'm not sure how many more years I have left in the sport so another national champs jersey would be really cool."
The 27-year-old also believes the state of the event made her decision easier.
Usually filled with some of the biggest names in women's cycling, or those pushing for their moment on the world stage, this year's Tour Down Under has a much weaker field due to Covid-19.
"They were hoping for it to go ahead as an international race, and charter the athletes over, but lots of the teams weren't keen for that. So they've canned that and it's now just a national race," Williams explained.
The national champs, which run from February 12-14 in Cambridge, will be the start line for what's expected to be a heavily-European-based season for Williams.
That's despite, Covid-allowing, the Tokyo Olympics being in the middle of the year.
"Unfortunately we [New Zealand] didn't qualify a road spot for the Games, which is pretty tough. They [the International Olympic Committee] are only allowing 63 starters in the women's road race, whereas normally we race in a peloton of over 150.
"So we had to be one of the top 23 countries in the world with ranking points. But we don't have many top Kiwi girls racing in Europe.
"And then the ones we do have, like myself, I'm a domestique for my teammates that are more experienced. So I'm always racing for them and not getting any points for New Zealand because I'm doing my job early in the races to help them win."
A frustrated Williams believes it's a naive way for the IOC to operate.
"It's really unfair, because we definitely have some riders who are up there and could do pretty well."
The silver lining for Williams is that she still may end up wearing the silver fern this year. She'll just have to earn the right to do so at home.
"I need to get my title back, so I'm going to give it a real crack."