Ed Clancy believes Great Britain are playing catch up in their team pursuit battle royale with Australia - but that the current squad is superior to the one which claimed gold in Beijing.
Britain were second to Australia at the Olympic test event, February's Track World Cup, and Clancy knows his squad have ground to make up in the four-man, four-kilometre event.
"We made a couple of schoolboy errors in that team pursuit final, in terms of length of turn and doing the basics, which cost us a little bit of time," Clancy said. "I still think the Aussies would've beaten us by a few tenths (of a second), but you could quite clearly see we came off it quite badly in the last few laps through stupid errors.
"I think we've got to acknowledge the fact these Aussie kids are not getting any slower. We do appreciate we've got a fight on our hands this time. It's going to come down to a few tenths (of a second) either way, I think."
Clancy is one of six riders in Melbourne for next week's Track Cycling World Championships - along with fellow Olympic champion Geraint Thomas, plus Steven Burke, Pete Kennaugh, Ben Swift and Andy Tennant - and considers the team pursuit squad to be more accomplished than the one which won gold in Beijing in a world record that still stands.
Clancy, Thomas, Paul Manning and Bradley Wiggins, now targeting Tour de France glory on the road, clocked three minutes 53.314 seconds to triumph in China.
"In terms of what we're doing and the times we're posting, we're going better now," said Clancy, who is in final preparations for Wednesday's opening day, which features the team pursuit.
"We're in a good place. Have we got a better team now than we had in Beijing? I think we have.
"Geraint and I are the same two. Bradley was very, very good, but if you look at how he was during the Olympics, he had a bad couple of days. He was ill. He wasn't himself. We've got guys who could do much better than Brad did in the Olympics because Brad was ill.
"Paul Manning has retired now. He had the experience and was reliable, but we've got Steven Burke now, who has got some horsepower. In terms of legs, I think we can be better."