Great Britain Cycling Team performance director Stephen Park insists “It is too early to be writing Britain off yet," despite a disappointing performance at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Pruszkow, Poland, last week.
Elinor Barker’s victory in the points race on the opening day was the sole gold medal, while silvers were added in the men’s and women’s team pursuits and Ethan Hayter won bronze in the men’s omnium.
The country’s hopes of success in the women’s Madison – a first-time Olympic event at Tokyo – were dealt a blow when the number one pairing of Laura Trott and Katie Archibald were both forced to cut short their championships through, respectively, illness and concussion.
Team GB has dominated the track cycling events at the past three Olympic Games and Park told BBC Sport: "Medallists who went to Rio were just emerging as riders at this stage."
The Netherlands and Australia each took six gold medals in Poland, with Great Britain sixth in the medal table.
But, a year and a half out from the Olympics, it’s a situation the country has found itself in before.
UK Sport funding across Olympic disciplines is based on the performances at the Games themselves – and Team GB upping its game on sport’s biggest stage after seemingly underperforming at the previous year’s Worlds happened ahead of both London 2012 and Rio 2016.
"We've still got 17 months so plenty of runway yet - we're not at desperation stakes or anything," Park said.
"We are certainly clear that there are some gaps to be made up not just in sprinting but in the endurance events as well.
"If we look four years ago, we finished 10th on the medal table. It is too early to be writing Britain off yet."
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