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to be or not to be

Success and surprises already for team GB by day 3.

The track cycling world championships are now in full swing, having returned to the UK for the first time since Manchester 2008. With 50,000 tickets sold this year’s event will be the biggest ever and all Britain’s riders are hoping to relive Olympic glory on their return to the Queen Elizabeth Park

Founded in 1893, the World Championships represent the season’s zenith for the world’s track cycling superstars and Great Britain will be fielding one of its largest (and potentially its strongest) teams ever.

Britain’s cyclists will undoubtedly be looking to make amends having picked up a disappointing three silver medals at last year’s championship and, if the pressure wasn't already enough, with Rio looming on the horizon the results of these races hold even more credence. Established riders such as Sir Bradley Wiggins, Laura Trott and Mark Cavendish will be hoping to reassert their dominance while our nation’s young blood - including Callum Skinner, Emily Nelson and Owain Doull - will relish the chance to prove they can compete and lead at the highest level.

The men

The British male heavyweights will all be looking to set themselves up for the summer and will surely benefit from Lee Valley’s familiar Siberian pine circuit. Eyes are already on the British sprinters who regained the world’s top spot following their victory in Hong Kong, having faltered since losing their iconic lead Sir Chris Hoy. Jason Kenny’s return to form has already translated into a quarter-final place - and we can only hope that his bronze in Hong Kong will push him back into the form that translated to victory at London 2012 and the 2013 World Championship keirin.

Spectators will be treated to the dazzling duo of Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish - Britain’s first Tour De France winner and our most successful ever cyclist respectively - who will be teaming up in the Madison. The pair will be hoping to displace last year’s French winners and repeat their gold medal winning performance at Manchester 2008. Wiggins will also be in action in the team pursuit, hoping to reclaim a gold not won since Melbourne in 2012 against current holders New Zealand.

Mark Cavendish is hoping to steal the headlines in the men’s Omnium, requiring a top 3 finish to stand a good chance of qualifying for Rio. Having laid out his claim to a Tour De France yellow jersey, a world championship win and an Olympic gold - he will be eager not to fall at the first hurdle.

The women 

While the men are already through to the semi-final of the team pursuit, not every story has a happy ending and the women’s team pursuit quartet have already crashed out of the competition - failing to qualify for the summer’s Olympic event. The Manchester World Championships were the scene of the first ever women’s team pursuit and the Brits, who's ranks include Laura Trott, have been on the podium in all 8 championships since then. The backlash from the team has already begun and we will have to wait and see what comes of their troubled coach.

But all is not lost, and British star Trott has already taken gold in the women’s ‘scratch’ event. She will now be eyeing a gold medal in the women’s omnium - building on the silver medal she has picked up at each of her last three omnium outings. This will be no easy task against in-form Australian Anette Edmondson (2015 winner) and American Sarah Hammer (2013/2014 winner), who are both looking to make good on their own dreams of Olympic gold.

Follow the action 

The Huez team will be keeping a close eye on happenings at the championships and cheering on the British riders. Find a guide to the 19 events taking place here.

BBC Sport and Eurosport are broadcasting the evening sessions throughout the championship as well as the to final session on Sunday. 

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