Rohan Dennis has a smile on his face again.
After a disastrous and painful 2019 on several fronts, it's exactly what the doctor ordered.
Dennis suddenly quit the Tour de France mid-race in July, endured a bitter divorce from the Bahrain-Merida team and has since detailed struggles with his mental health and weight loss.
But his first steps with new team - powerful British outfit Ineos, with whom he signed in December - at last week's Tour Down Under saw Dennis finish equal-second on time behind overall winner Richie Porte.
It was a positive advance in a year the two-time defending time trial world champion will target Tokyo Olympics gold.
"It was really good, really enjoyable," Dennis said of his competitive debut with Ineos.
"It was organised and quite serious but we had a lot of fun at the same time."
Dennis said his change of teams had done wonders.
"I think you can see it on my face how much the environment is different," he said.
"It's completely different.
"Even if there's a small issue, we talk about it in a constructive way, then it's done. We move on and we try to do everything better the next day.
"That's one big thing that I've noticed about the team.
"It's OK, we can't do everything perfect but we're going to strive to do it."
The 29-year-old said he was in decent shape as he prepared to head back to Europe, where he will attack the Giro d'Italia in May before turning his attention to the Olympics.
"I'm good for January but I've got a bit of work to do before July and my big goal of Tokyo," Dennis said.
"In the Giro, I've got to get a little bit better at climbing again.
"Obviously I did alright (on the final Tour Down Under stage at Willunga Hill on Sunday) but it's only a 3km climb and not a 10-15km like we'll have in the last week of the Giro."
Australian Associated Press