The track world championships will be a very different affair for the British team this year, and there?s no expectations from within camp of a Manchester style monster medal haul.
Of all the 2008 Olympic gold medal winners only Victoria Pendleton, Ed Clancy, Jason Kenny and Jamie Staff will be competing in the Pruskow velodrome.
The experienced heads of Chris Newton, Ross Edgar and Wendy Houvenaghel are also present, but a large part of the team will be made up of young riders, several of whom will be making their track world championship debut.
But it?s not only the riders who will be experiencing something different this week as British Cycling?s team of coaches will be given greater responsibility throughout the competition. Both Performance Director Dave Brailsford and former track manager Shane Sutton arrived in Poland just one day before the competition started, and were planning to take a back seat throughout the five days.
Sutton said that he wouldn?t even be entering the track centre, and would instead spend his time watching from the sidelines; and doing a little commentary for Eurosport.
Brailsford confirmed that Heiko Salzwedel would shoulder much of the responsibility of team management from now, and that he wanted to see how the younger coaches handled a greater level of responsibility.
Both Brailsford and Sutton are now heavily involved with the setting up of the Sky professional road team, something they wouldn?t have the time for without this new structure for the track squad.
A part of Salzwedel?s role will be managing expectations as the 19 rider team is not likely to win as many events as they have in the last two years.
One event the British team definitely won't win is the individual pursuit, having taken the decision to not fill either of their two qualified places. This, let's not forget, is Britain?s event. As a nation we have won this world title more times than any other, but according to the British team management, they have nothing left to learn in this event, and little to gain from entering a rider.
Clancy had been tipped to ride since last year?s Manchester world cup, but the Halfords rider recently broke a bone in his foot, and will now only ride the team pursuit, an event where there is still much to learn because to the number of variations.
Clancy is likely to be joined by Steven Burke (who is expected to ride man one), Jonny Bellis and Peter Kennaugh for the team pursuit, and while the quartet may dip below the four minute mark if conditions are right, they?re not guaranteed a medal.
The idea is to learn what this new combination can do as a team, and getting that data is more important at this point of a four-year Olympic cycle than winning medals.
The British team sprint trio is also changed from Beijing because of Sir Chris Hoy?s injury. Matt Crampton is expected to join Jamie Staff and Jason Kenny for this event. Having ridden well through the winter, the French are expected to be out for revenge at this year?s worlds.
Chris Newton and Mark Cavendish will both be medal conteders in the bunch races, but will also be heavily marked throughout, making it impossible to predict what they can achieve.
So if we are looking for any dominance of events from the Brits, we have to look to the women. Pendleton will go for four golds in the sprint races while Lizzie Armitstead will look to step up from her astonishing performances in the world cups.
Armitstead was the revelation of this winter?s world cup series taking wins in the points and scratch races and the team pursuit. It is she that could come out of this year?s worlds with the media?s attention on her.
No matter how many golds the British team comes back with, it?s what they learn over the next five days, about their riders and coaches, that will have the biggest outcome on London 2012.
2009 UCI TRACK CYCLING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
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NEWS AND FEATURES
No individual pursuit for Britain at track worlds
No room for complacency in British Cycling: Iain Dyer interviewCavendish in the frame for Scratch race world title bid
2009 Track Cycling World Championships preview
Crampton set to fill Sir Chris Hoy's team sprint spot
2009 World Track Champs GB squad named
Hoy to miss world track champs
Track World Championships: British medal winners
CW's Dummies' Guide to Track Racing
GB RIDER PROFILES
International track results last season: 2007-2008
International track results this season: 2008-2009
2008 TRACK WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS LINKS
Full results from the 2008 track worlds
Report: Sunday, day five>>
Report: Saturday, day four>>
Report: Friday, day three>>
Report: Thursday, day two>>
Report: Wednesday, day one>>
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Editor of Cycling Weekly magazine, Simon has been working at the title since 2001. He fell in love with cycling when channel surfing in 1989 and happening across the greatest ever edition of the Tour de France. He's been a Greg LeMond fan ever since. He started racing in 1995 when moving to university in North Wales gave him more time to train and some amazing roads to train on. He raced domestically for several years, riding everything from Surrey leagues to time trials, track and even a few Premier Calendars. In 2000 he spent one season racing in Belgium with the Kingsnorth International Wheelers.
Since working for Cycling Weekly he has written product reviews, fitness features, pro interviews, race coverage and news. He has covered the Tour de France more times than he can remember along with two Olympic Games and many other international and UK domestic races. He can still be seen at his club's evening races through the summer but he still hasn't completed the CW5000 challenge!
Simon is currently riding
Road bike: Pinarello K8S with Shimano Dura Ace
TT bike: Specialized Venge road bike with FFWD wheels and Easton Attack TT bars
Gravel bike: N/A
Training bike: Rourke custom hand made with Reynolds 853 steel
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