Next week's Track World Championships in Melbourne are almost upon us and the eyes of the world's cycling media are set to look Down Under in the search for clues ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games this coming summer. For many nations, including Great Britain, the Worlds represent the final chance to hone their skills in a competitive environment before the big one on home soil.
Team GB enjoyed unprecendented success at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where they won eight gold medals under the watchful eye of performance director David Brailsford. He has admitted that changes to the events for London 2012 will mean that it will be very difficult for Team GB to match that haul, but insists that the squad is in good shape and confident ahead of next week.
"The key thing now is racing this particular championships as hard and as well as possible and then taking stock after that," he told The Guardian.
"We'll have a lot more information in two weeks' time than we have now. The key thing will be to go to Australia, put in some good performances and then look to the final 16 weeks to put the final parts into the performances for London. It won't be the final chance [for riders to force their way into contention for Olympic selection] but it will be a significant chance. We won't pre-empt anything. We'll see where the guys are at and we'll debrief that when we get back.
"It will be our final competitive outing before the Olympics. There's always going to be a desire to try to compete as much as possible. I think it's more a question of fine-tuning rather than specific targets. We'll never talk about medal targets. We want to make sure all the riders perform to the best of their ability."
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