With just a month to go until the TISSOT UCI Track World Cup returns to Manchester, excitement is building among home riders preparing to represent Great Britain in front of a partisan crowd.
After a four-year absence, the world’s premier track cycling series returns to the north west and the home of British cycling from November 10-12.
That 2013 event saw the emergence of some of Britain’s now established star names, such as world and Olympic champions Elinor Barker and Katie Archibald.
And with the home nation being afforded a larger squad entry, Barker is looking forward to the British crowd getting a glimpse of their future heroes.
“One of the first World Cups I ever had was in Manchester, I remember it being really cool and a great experience, I can’t really wait to go back there,” said the 23-year-old world points race champion.
“I remember being really nervous, I was only a teenager and it was the year after the London Olympics, there was so much interest, you felt a bit of pressure but it was such a great experience to get.
“Being at home means that we get to have two squads, we’ll have a great showing of British riders and not just the names people know, but a lot of future stars and younger riders will come through and have a real chance to show what they can do.”
Archibald, who rode with Barker, Joanna Rowsell Shand and Laura Kenny (nee Trott) to Olympic team pursuit glory at Rio 2016, was riding for Scotland when she took to the Manchester track four years ago.
Having only made the switch from swimming to track cycling aged 18, Archibald’s performance saw her snapped up by the British Cycling academy.
“It feels very special to have a crack again at that excitement of a Manchester World Cup,” she said.
“Back in 2013 I was there as the only person riding for Scotland and I felt like a little bit of an intruder, but left with a bronze and a silver medal and was flabbergasted.
“Glasgow is my home track but I’ve been based in Manchester for a while now and it has very much felt like a second home for me, it feels very special to be able to bring your friends, bring your family down to watch what you do best.
“When it’s a home track like this, you really own the competition, it adds a lot of pressure but there is also a massive privilege that comes with it.”
Fellow Olympic champion Philip Hindes is another that could be lining up at the Manchester Velodrome next month.
And the two-time team sprint gold medallist relishing the opportunity.
“It would be nice to win, especially in front of a home crowd. It always feels a bit like a World Championship event with the crowd behind you,” he said.
“You’re a bit under pressure, you want to perform and get a medal, but it’s just a stepping stone to get some results in the bigger events.
“It’s massively important having the crowd behind you – it’s something you don’t get at a lot of races.
“In Mexico, there’s not many British people there to cheer you on. To race in front of a home crowd especially in Manchester, where we train every day, it will be massive.”