The 2018-2019 International Cycling Union (UCI) Track Cycling World Cup season is due to begin in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines in France tomorrow with Great Britain looking to exert their dominance.
Although Jason and Laura Kenny, with 10 Olympic titles between them, are not due to their bows until round two in Milton in Canada next week, Britain still boast an extremely strong squad for the three-day event at the Vélodrome de Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines.
Triple Olympic champion Ed Clancy and two-time Olympic gold medallist Steve Burke, due to appear in both competitions, will provide a wealth of experience in the endurance fields.
Clancy, a six-time world and five-time European champion, has UCI Track Cycling World Cup medals dating back to 2005.
Long-time team-mate Burke was part of Britain’s Olympic-gold winning team pursuit quartets, along with Clancy, at London 2012 and Rio 2016.
He has an Olympic bronze in his own right from the Beijing 2008 individual pursuit and has one world and three European titles to his name.
Among the other leading names representing Britain will be world team pursuit champion Kian Emadi, who will look to add another title to his collection, and Olympic and Commonwealth bronze medallist Katy Marchant.
Two-time UCI Track Cycling World Cup champion Mark Stewart, who stormed to a sensational points race gold medal for Scotland at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in April, will also feature along with world silver medallist Ryan Owens.
A number of nations will be hopeful of thwarting Britain’s dominance, including hosts France.
The home nation’s team is headlined by Morgan Kneisky, a four-time world champion, thrice in the Madison and once in scratch.
His team-mates on separate occasions for those world titles, Benjamin Thomas and Bryan Coquard, are also in line to compete.
With Round 1 of the @TISSOT UCI Track World Cup 🏆 starting from tomorrow, let's take a look at who will be lining up at the start! 🚩— UCI Track Cycling (@UCI_Track) October 18, 2018
🔴 Men's Entry List 🔗 https://t.co/9GGuTsZPcQ
🔴 Women's Entry List 🔗 https://t.co/fIh1Is9jH2#TissotUCITrackWC pic.twitter.com/Rz26mT9yaD
Thomas is a four-time European champion and the 2017 world omnium champion, while Coquard also has Olympic omnium silver from London 2012 and won the prestigious Four Days of Dunkirk in 2016.
Laurie Bretton, the world omnium silver medallist from 2016, spearheads the women’s challenge for the hosts.
The Netherlands’ squad is another packed full of quality and potential, including the vastly experienced Kirsten Wild.
Wild is enjoying a stellar 2018 having accumulated a magnificent triple crown of golds in points, scratch and omnium at her home World Championships in Apeldoorn earlier this year.
Fellow endurance racers Wim Stroetinga, Nina Kessler and Jan-Willem van Schip also all have medals at either the European or World Championships.
The Dutch are also strong in the sprints, with Jeffrey Hoogland and Harrie Lavreysen both part of the team which won world team gold on home soil in February.
Australia, meanwhile, have selected a supremely talented outfit as they look to build on their success at Gold Coast 2018 and the recent Oceania Track Cycling Championships they hosted in Adelaide
Double world champion Matt Glaetzer, who lit up last year’s UCI Track World Cup, and Kaarle McCulloch, are the headline names in a sprint squad with considerable depth.
Hot shot pursuit starlet Kelland O’Brien will no doubt have his eyes on the top prize, while triple world champion Leigh Howard will prove a major test for the rest of the field.
Ashlee Ankudinoff is the main threat for the Australians' women’s endurance team, boasting one Commonwealth Games and two world team pursuit titles.
The UCI Track Cycling World Cup is an annual multi-race tournament and is usually held between October and February.