Sir David Brailsford believes Jason Kenny's World Cup disappointment will serve as a valuable wake-up call that nothing can be taken for granted.
The Olympic and former world sprint champion failed to come through qualifying in Manchester but Brailsford insists he will bounce back stronger for the embarrassing experience in front of his home crowd, friends and family.
"You have to earn your place on merit and you don't get a free ride because you are an Olympic champion," he said, after Kenny only ranked 24th out of 41 in qualifying.
"Sport is a cruel thing, it's hard, it's got no emotion and it will catch you out if you don't do the hard work, as we have seen.
"Reputations don't matter. It is a reminder of all the absolute graft that has to go into getting what you need and that you have to earn your place. He has to get his head down and graft."
But Brailsford insisted he likes where Britain's new look track cycling team - under the guidance of Shane Sutton - are at the start of a long season that will culminate at next year's World Championships in Cali, Colombia.
They won four golds in Manchester, only Germany claimed more, and top the current World Cup rankings when their overall standings in each event are calculated.
"I see more of a bigger picture in terms of where this weekend figures for Rio and the general build up," he added.
"I would say this Olympic cycle has started quite differently from maybe previously. We've got a young group, very dynamic and eager riders who are on a voyage of discovery.
"The average age has dropped quite significantly and think the performances I have seen here are really good, really creditable but equally there is enough there to keep people on their toes.
"Success breeds success and failure can be a catalyst to success but mediocre gives you mediocre - you want one or the other really.
"Jason not qualifying here I think's a good thing personally. It will be a bitter pill for him to swallow but it will wake him up and they are the important things at this stage of the Olympic cycle.
"So, as an overview, generally I'm happy and it's given a benchmark where the work needs to be done."
© Sportsbeat 2013