• The Australian men's individual pursuit team at Cambridge, New Zealand, UCI Track World Cup (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
A world record is in Australia's sights at this week's track cycling World Cup round in Brisbane after the national men's team pursuit outfit vowed to make a statement ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
12 Dec 2019 - 5:59 PM  UPDATED 12 Dec 2019 - 6:58 PM

An 18-strong Australian team boasting 10 reigning world champions appeared to be on the back foot after being upstaged by hosts New Zealand at last weekend's Cup round.

Both countries finished the Cambridge meet with eight medals but New Zealand comfortably topped the table with five gold compared to Australia's sole win - Georgia Baker and Alexandra Manly's impressive victory in the women's madison.

But Australian cycling star Sam Welsford believed the stage was set at Brisbane for the hosts to not only threaten their rivals but also the record books.

Welsford said hot conditions predicted for the three-day Brisbane meet starting on Friday augured well for fast times and kept his fingers crossed his team pursuit outfit would break their own world record on the opening night.

"This round is one we targeted a long time ago to go fast at," said reigning scratch and team pursuit world champion Welsford. 

"There are ripper conditions, a fast track. If all goes well I think we can really push that world record.

"It is always a big carrot to chase the world record. But just because we set it doesn't mean we can't improve on it.

"A lot of teams are starting to go fast now and we have to step up. The World Cup is a good opportunity to show our cards (before Tokyo)."

Welsford combined with Leigh Howard, Kelland O'Brien and Alex Porter to smash the team pursuit world mark by claiming gold at March's world titles in Poland ahead of Olympic champions Great Britain.

They clocked three minutes, 48.01 seconds to eclipse the previous world mark by almost two seconds that had been set by Australia at the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Anna Meares Velodrome - the same venue for this week's World Cup round.

Even if they miss out on Brisbane glory, Welsford hoped to inspire Australia to go one better than their 2016 Olympic team pursuit silver at Tokyo.

Welsford is the last man standing from the Rio team pursuit outfit that was relegated to second by a British outfit led by Sir Bradley Wiggins.

"I have been thinking about Tokyo since the day after Rio finished. We finished second at Rio and I have always wanted to go one better - that is my fire in the belly," he said.

Brisbane plays host to the fifth World Cup round that will offer valuable qualifying points for the Tokyo Olympics and feature 300 riders from more than 50 countries.

It is Australia's last meet on home soil ahead of February's world titles.

A highlights wrap of the Track World Cup in Brisbane will be available online here on Cycling Central after the event.