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Last Updated: Wednesday, 26 March 2008, 10:02 GMT
GB cyclists aiming to reign again
Track Cycling World Championships
Venue: Manchester Velodrome
Dates: 26-30 March
Coverage: Live action and highlights on BBC Two, BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport website

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Go behind the scenes at the Manchester Velodrome with Chris Boardman's exclusive video tour


Great Britain will be the team to beat when the 2008 Track Cycling World Championships gets under way on Wednesday in Manchester.

Team GB dominated last year's event in Majorca, winning seven gold medals.

Victoria Pendleton, who won three titles in 2007, is going for four golds while Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins are also hot favourites to triumph.

Wiggins said: "We haven't been in a position like this for a while or been this confident going into a big event."

There is also the added incentive for Britain's cyclists with the winners of the 10 Olympic events winning a berth for their country at Beijing 2008.

606: COMMENT
BBC Sport's Andy Nicolson in Manchester

The championships is the first of 14 international events in 2008 supported by UK Sport's lottery-funded World Class Events Programme, with 275,000 contributed to the Manchester spectacle.

Below is a list of highlights during the five-day event at the Manchester Velodrome.

WED 26 MARCH

In the men's individual pursuit Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins will be looking to defend his world crown.

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Bradley Wiggins is enjoying a return to track cycling

Wiggins: "It's a mini dress-rehearsal for Beijing where I'll also be trying to win three golds"

In the men's team sprint, Great Britain will be looking for revenge over France, who beat them to gold by two thousandths of a second last year.

Shanaze Reade - GB's hope for BMX gold in Beijing - will be hoping to improve on her fifth place last year in the women's 500m time trial.

THURS 27 MARCH

Victoria Pendleton leads Great Britain in the women's team sprint, an event she won with Shanaze Reade in Spain last year.

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Interview: Victoria Pendleton ready for title defence

Pendleton: "I've got no desire to look like some of my other competitors and their very masculine approach - I like going to the hairdressers and wearing dresses and high heels!"

Meanwhile, Bradley Wiggins leads a strong British men's pursuit team which could feature Steve Burke in his first senior World Championships as they look to defend their title.

Rebecca Romero, former world rowing champion and Olympic silver medallist, will be hoping to improve on the silver individual pursuit medal she won in Spain last year.

FRI 28 MARCH

The women's team pursuit makes its debut at the World Championships, with Wendy Houvenaghel, Rebecca Romero, Jo Rowsell and Lizzie Armistead in contention for places in the three-rider race.

SAT 29 MARCH

Victoria Pendleton goes for gold in the women's sprint final and Chris Hoy defends his title in the men's Keirin.

Mark Cavendish and Bradley Wiggins are GB's pair for the men's Madison, with all the nations aiming for Madison qualification at the Olympic Games.

SUN 30th MARCH

Reigning champion Chris Hoy will be going for glory in the men's 1K time trial, while Victoria Pendleton will be gunning for gold in the women's Keirin.



SEE ALSO
World Cycling - day one photos
26 Mar 08 |  Cycling
Pendleton and Hoy make GB squad
12 Mar 08 |  Cycling
Cycling on the BBC
25 Mar 08 |  Cycling
British Cycling racing calendar
06 Nov 07 |  Cycling


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