Hayman, who turns 40 next week, finished 22nd at Roubaix last weekend, and left for Queensland the following day to compete in the men’s road race.
The champion veteran is considering his future as a pro cyclist and said the long-haul journey made hours after the hardest one-day race on the calendar was not something he'd have undertaken in bygone years.
“There is a chance that this will be the last time I pull on an Australian jersey. That’s another reason to be here,” Hayman told Cycling Central from the Gold Coast.
“You can ride Roubaix, you can win Roubaix, you can finish the Tour de France and ride up the Champs Elysees but this is something else as an athlete.
“The whole environment, the village, the events going on and what it does to Australians. We went for a training ride yesterday and from here all the way down the coast to Currumbin, where the road race is, we had people yelling support.”
Hayman sought permission from his Mitchelton-Scott trade team to skip Amstel Gold Race and compete in the 168.3km men’s title, which he won at the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games.
“It’s really, really special for me to pull on the green and gold jersey and I’m so happy that I pushed through with it and I’m here,” he said.
“We haven’t totally mapped out a game plan. We did reconnaissance of the course yesterday and we were talking amongst ourselves about how the race might be run. It has two punchy climbs and a little rise to the finish so quite suited to us.”
The 2016 Paris-Roubaix winner said the outcome of the race is unpredictable mainly given the composition of the 116-strong field.
Australia will field a six-man team including Hayman, national champion Alex Edmondson, Callum Scotson, Steele Von Hoff, Mitch Docker and Cameron Meyer. Edmonson and Docker also rode Roubaix on Sunday.
“There’s so many unknowns,” said Hayman. “There’s no way I was supposed to win in Melbourne. I was totally committed to riding for Allan Davis and through that I came across an opportunity.
“There is a chance groups can come to the finish but it’s hard to predict because of the depth of the field. If this was a race in Europe with many WorldTour teams you could say it was definitely going to be a sprint but that’s not the case for the Commonwealth Games.
"There are a few big teams that have the ability to change the race and the others don’t.”
Hayman is set to compete at the Tour of California after the Games, with an eye toward the Tour de France, selection for which, like retirement, remains undecided.
“My thoughts go up and down at different times of the year. I said after Down Under it probably wasn’t a good time to make a decision, and probably sitting in the Commonwealth Games village with everybody cheering you on is not a good time either,” Hayman said of his future. “They’re the highs but there is also a lot of training, a lot of other sacrifices that go into doing this and I’m really not sure.”
Watch Mathew Hayman at the Tour of California here on SBS from 13 - 19 May (details TBC).