British Cycling's technical director, Shane Sutton, says that Sir Bradley Wiggins ‘has to go out and produce’ at the World Championships in London in March if he is to earn selection for the Olympic Games.
Speaking to the BBC, Sutton described Wiggins as ‘one of the strong guys’ within the six vying for places in the team pursuit, but added that, as ever, emotion and past form would not be factors when it came to picking who would ride.
"It's an evidence-based selection he's involved in. Brad has to go out and produce in London which will determine whether he makes the road to Rio or not."
Although the riders appearing in London are likely to be the frontrunners as things currently stand – “there's a foot in the door for anybody who goes to London” – Sutton emphasised that Rio selection wasn’t yet settled.
"Like everybody else, Brad is definitely under pressure, but Brad's the ultimate professional. Brad would de-select himself if he didn't think he could do the job, but I'm quite sure he can."
The Worlds will also see Wiggins riding with Mark Cavendish in the Madison – which is no longer an Olympic event. The pair famously raced it together at the Beijing Olympics – the same year they won rainbow jerseys in Manchester – but could only finish ninth. Cavendish is therefore attempting to gain the sole Omnium place on offer for Rio in a bid to earn that elusive Olympic medal.