In eight months? time, the LaoShan velodrome will make and break the Olympic dreams of the world?s finest track cyclists.

Britain?s riders get their first chance to get a feel of the Beijing boards this weekend.

This is the second of two back-to-back World Cups. After a slow opening night at last weekend?s Sydney World Cup, the British riders came storming back to claim three gold medals, a silver and a bronze to get a flying start in the bid to score points for Olympic qualification.

But the team in Beijing is even stronger, with Bradley Wiggins the hot favourite to win the individual pursuit for the T-Mobile track team on Friday?s opening day.

Victoria Pendleton of Science In Sport bounced back from her quarter-final defeat in the sprint to win the Keirin gold in Sydney, but she will want to go further in the sprint competition this time.

Like Pendleton, Wendy Houvenaghel is in the early stages of her training but she will hope to improve on her fourth place in the individual pursuit.

And another big hope for a medal on the first day of competition is the Great Britain team sprint squad, wheeling out the big guns ? Chris Hoy, Craig MacLean and Jason Queally.

The riders who competed in Sydney flew to Beijing on Monday morning ? the earliest possible opportunity ? to allow the maximum amount of time to settle into their environs.

As performance director David Brailsford pointed out: ?The flight from Sydney to Beijing is further than the one from London to Beijing, so it?s not an easy schedule.

?But we?re in good shape after Sydney. In terms of points-scoring we hit our targets and it was particularly important to clinch those fourth and fifth places where a medal was perhaps out of reach.?

After Beijing, Brailsford and the rest of the coaching team will tot up the points and work out what has to be done in the final two World Cup competitions, in Los Angeles and Copenhagen next January and February, and at the World Championships in Manchester at the end of March.

PICTURE: Hoy means business. After gold and bronze in Sydney, the Scottish sprinter will be aiming for another fine performance on the LaoShan velodrome. by Andy Jones

FRIDAY?S SCHEDULE

UK times
Session one (qualifying) 1am to 10am
Session two (finals) 11am to 2.30pm
Asterisks denote Olympic disciplines


Women?s individual pursuit *
Rebecca Romero (Great Britain)
Wendy Houvenaghel (Science In Sport)

Men?s points race *
Rob Hayles (Great Britain)
Ben Swift (Team 100% ME)
Chris Newton (Recycling.co.uk)

Women?s scratch race
?

Men?s team sprint *
Great Britain (Chris Hoy, Craig MacLean, Jason Queally)
Science In Sport (Matt Crampton, Ross Edgar, Jamie Staff)

Men?s individual pursuit *
Steve Cummings (Great Britain)
Bradley Wiggins (T-Mobile)

Women?s sprint *
Anna Blyth (Great Britain)
Victoria Pendleton (Science In Sprint)

SATURDAY?S SCHEDULE

UK times
Session one (qualifying) 4am to 9am
Session two (finals) 10am to 1.30pm
Asterisks denote Olympic disciplines


Women?s 500m TT
Anna Blyth (Great Britain)
Victoria Pendleton (Science In Sport)

Men?s team pursuit *
Great Britain (Paul Manning, Steve Cummings, Ed Clancy, Geraint Thomas)

Women?s points race *
Rebecca Romero (Great Britain)

Men?s Keirin *
Chris Hoy (Great Britain)
Ross Edgar (Science In Sport)

Men?s kilometre TT
?

Women?s team sprint
?

Men?s scratch race
Jonny Bellis (Team 100% ME)
Chris Newton (Recycling.co.uk)
Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile)

SUNDAY?S SCHEDULE

UK times
Session one (qualifying) 1.30am to 7.20am
Session two (finals) 8am to 11am
Asterisks denote Olympic disciplines


Women?s team pursuit
?

Women?s Keirin
Anna Blyth (Great Britain)
Victoria Pendleton (Science In Sport)

Men?s Madison *
Rob Hayles & Geraint Thomas (Great Britain)
Jonny Bellis & Ben Swift (Team 100% ME)
Bradley Wiggins & Mark Cavendish (T-Mobile)

Men?s sprint *
Chris Hoy (Great Britain)
Craig MacLean (Great Britain)
Matt Crampton (Science In Sport)
Ross Edgar (Science In Sport)

RELATED LINK
Wiggins to ride for T-Mobile in Beijing
CW’s Dummies’ Guide to track cycling