Dame Sarah Storey set for racing comeback in Newport
Dame Sarah Storey returns to action this weekend as she heads the list of British Paralympic stars at the first international track event since London.
A four-time London 2012 gold medallist, Storey is among those competing at the Newport International Paracycling Cup.
The 36-year-old returns after giving birth to daughter Louisa in June.
"It will be great to get back on the track and see how my form is," Storey told BBC Sport. "It is very exciting but nerve-wracking."
Storey had six weeks off after giving birth and has gradually built up her training in between the demands of a new-born, including breast-feeding. In Newport, she will compete in the 3km pursuit on Sunday.
"I've never had this amount of time off before so I just want to build my form and re-establish myself," she said.
"I will be in with a good shout in Newport, but nowhere near the world record. I want to get back on an even keel and be as good technically as I was last year and work on that towards Rio [for the 2016 Paralympics].
"Since coming back it has been about fitting training around Louisa's feeding regime. I haven't missed a day of training - I've just had to adapt how I have done it. It has been a big learning curve but one I have enjoyed."
Storey said her "approach to sport" had not changed since giving birth but her priorities have.
Despite the success of the track events at the London Paralympics, where Great Britain won 15 medals - including five golds, there have been no international track events since and no World Championships is scheduled.
So the Newport event, which runs from Friday until Sunday, gives the British riders a chance to test their progress as they build towards Rio.
Also racing will be other experienced GB campaigners such as Jody Cundy, Neil Fachie, Jon-Allan Butterworth and Darren Kenny. And the event also features a host of competitors making their international debuts, including Matt Ellis, Andy Kelsey and Jaco van Gass and the tandem pairing of Sophie Thornhill and Rachel James, older sister of double world champion Becky James.
Cundy, who won pursuit bronze in London, has been critical of cycling's governing body, the UCI, for the lack of racing opportunities open to him and wants to make an impact in Newport.
"The fact we have had no racing is a bit daunting but we have to look to stuff we can do in training," he said. "You train for a Paralympics but there are stepping stones in between that you need to test the water and see how you are going .
"Training has been going well and I broke the world record in kilo time trial at the National Championships recently, but as much as we set times in training, nothing beats racing your rivals."
New GB Paracycling head coach Jon Norfolk wants the team to make the most of the opportunities this weekend's event presents.
"It is a challenge not having competitions but countries who are proactive in terms of looking for events will be the ones who will come out on top," he said.
"We can't just sit back and say we need competitions. We are taking the bull by the horns to give our riders the best opportunity. As well as our experienced riders, we have some development riders so it is a good chance for some newcomers to race and see how they get on."