The opening World Cup event of the 2009/10 track season probably looks pretty insignificant in the shadow of London 2012 but this weekend, in effect, marks the beginning of the journey for Team GB.
The 2008/09 season can probably be written down as bad debt after the investment by British Cycling hit its peak value in Beijing. The portfolio of capital gains at the World Championships would have been seen as a massive underperformance in any other year.
Certainly Sir Chris Hoy is unlikely to mark it down as a vintage year given the hip injury he endured, but it seems to have given him a chance to refocus on his long-term goals. He recently told Brendan Gallagher, of The Daily Telegraph:
"London [Olympics 2012] really is on the horizon now, it all seemed a long way away in the months immediately after Beijing but it seems much closer and the motivation and impetus is back"
It's the sort of statement which will please both the fans and those involved in British Cycling's medal-winning team. His rivals will no doubt be less pleased.
As the figurehead of British track cycling, Hoy is the rider who many look to for inspiration and his motivation will undoubtedly be shared by those around him in what is as close to a full strength squad as can be expected. Yes, there's no Wiggins or Cavendish, but given the debate around which events will be on the programme for 2012 and their goals on the road, it's hardly surprising.
As important as the established names are to drawing a crowd, it's the new names that I think are most worthy of paying attention to. We know well what those with Olympic medals can achieve, but it's the new blood who will push them that hold the most interest.
Becky James gets her senior debut alongside Jess Varnish, Andy Tennant, David Daniell and Peter Mitchell. For them Manchester is another step on the path towards being selected for London.
Their goal this weekend may not be to win but to achieve the goals set out for them, be that a given time or simply demonstrating the skills and mindset needed to step up at senior level. Sometimes that can easily be mistaken for a failure against the standards set by their team-mates, but even a rider saying "I'm not going to be beaten by them again" can be a significant psychological hurdle to overcome.
So while I'll be watching the action with one eye on the results, part of me will be making notes on the young pretenders with a view to London 2012. What will be a "good result" for Team GB in Manchester from your point of view?
Watch the event live on BBC Two, the red button and BBC Sport website; live commentary on 5 live sports extra. Full details here.