Following the opening Track World Cup of the season in Pruszkow, Poland, the world's top riders relocate to Manchester this weekend where Britain's cyclists will be hoping to kick-start their respective campaigns in front of partisan home crowds.
With its squad of riders already starting to think about the Tokyo Olympics, the Manchester Track World Cup will for many represent the first step towards qualification while for others it may simply be a return to familiar ground following some time away from the boards.
Despite having retired from competitive track cycling following the London Olympics, Sir Chris Hoy remains closely involved with the sport and will be working, alongside Claire Balding, in the commentary box this weekend providing expert analysis and insight for the BBC.
Speaking to Telegraph Sport, Hoy recently explained the importance of this weekend's meeting while picking out a handful of riders to watch out for in Manchester over the weekend.
"We're just under three years out from the Olympics now and you have to ask: what is one race in isolation? Well, not a lot really, but when you look at it in the context of potential selection for the world championships it changes," Hoy said.
"If you perform well and in Manchester and further World Cups and earn enough points to qualify and then perform well in February or March at the worlds then you can establish yourself and put your name in the running for selection further down the line. The short answer is this: every race counts between now and the Olympic Games.
"That said, if it's not a great World Cup then the riders will all have other chances, it's not the end of the world.
"When I raced, I loved racing in Manchester. If there was a World Cup in Manchester I wanted to win. The crowd are very knowledgeable, it's a great place to race so they'll be really motivated. I'm sure it will be a great weekend of racing, with plenty of talent on show."
Sir Chris Hoy's British riders to watch
Ed Clancy: Men's endurance
"Ed Clancy will certainly be one rider worth looking out for in Manchester this weekend. It will be Ed's first race on the track since the Rio Olympics. He took a bit of a break from the track. When you do a very specific type of role year after year, particularly within a team event it can be quite draining mentally as well as physically, so for him it was great to take a step back. He'll come back reinvigorated and enthusiastic; I think he'll be back to his old self. He's really strong and the mainstay of the team.
"After the crash last week or two weeks ago – even if they were on for a good time – it's not good for the confidence and they will want to get back out there in front of a home crowd, get back on track. The Track World Cup is another stepping stone – there are only so many between now and Tokyo – so they will want to start laying down the markers. Having said that, there's a long way go. A lot can change. This is the time to try out new formations within the team, but I'll be excited to see Ed back out on the track."
Katie Archibald: Women's endurance
"I think Katie Archibald will be a star of the show in Manchester. She could win almost anything – the team pursuit, omnium, points or scratch races. She's an absolute star already and she will be even bigger by the time of the Tokyo Olympics. She's just a really great rider to have in the team; she's great for morale and leads from the front, has great potential for the events she rides in, works hard. She's certainly one that the home crowd in Manchester will be seeing getting gold.
"The women's endurance squad – with Katie, Laura [Kenny] and Elinor Barker – will be the mainstay of the team in Tokyo where they will be the bankers for the medals we hope they are going to win. Katie enjoys racing and she's hitting a great patch just now where she gets on the bike and wins. The tough thing, though, comes when you start to be the one people are looking to perform all the time and you're no longer the up-and-coming rider, but the star. But I don't see any reason why she won't be able to deal with it [the pressure] well, so I'm sure she will do well in Manchester."
Philip Hindes: Men's sprint
"I'm looking forward to seeing the men's sprint. It will be interesting to see how people like Philip Hindes who has always been 'man one' in the team sprint, that's been his focus. A bit like Ed he's decided to have a bit of a change in direction – mentally more than anything just to give himself a new target – so he's riding the individual sprint in addition to the team sprint where he may go as 'man two'. It's always interesting to see how he's doing, he's done pretty well in some of the grands prix – he went sub-10sec recently.
"It's an exciting time right now, there's enough time that there could massive changes to the team between now and Tokyo. There's loads of time for an 18 or 19-year-old superstar to come and burst onto the scene, but we're not short on experience either. So there's plenty to look forward to."
Ryan Owens and the sprint 'B team'
"It will be really interesting to watch the 'B team' – if we can call them that? – of Joe Truman, Jack Carlin and Ryan Owens who all came through and developed away from the Olympic 'A team' of Jason, Phil and Callum Skinner. Together, they have won World Cups, European championships with times that were equal to any other 'A' national team in the world. When the guys [Kenny, Hindes and Skinner] took a break after Rio they just slotted in and have performed really, really well.
"Ryan Owens managed fourth at the worlds last year, was the reserve at the Olympics and could have medalled if he'd had the chance to ride in Rio. He's an amazing potential and is a really level-headed all-round athlete. Owens could end up becoming the next Jason Kenny, he's that good.
"Now is the time to see how the dynamic with the new guys and the old guys is going to work, and see who's going to get selected. There are now at least six guys really, really battling for three slots for Tokyo in the men's team sprint."
- Sir Chris Hoy, Elite Sports Consultant for sports nutrition pioneer, Science in Sport and Team Sky Nutritionist. For further information, please visit www.scienceinsport.com.