It was a fact not lost on the riders competing at the Scottish National Track Championships yesterday as they battled it out not only for titles, but a chance to catch the eye of selectors.
Fresh from his victory in the men's keirin on Friday night Callum Skinner (City of Edinburgh RC) was keen to make it a double with a win in the blue riband sprint event.
Skinner missed out on contesting that title last year after fracturing his collarbone in a charity exhibition match only hours before he was due to compete in the final.
But defending Scottish national sprint champion John Paul (also City of Edinburgh) wasn't about to roll over without a fight. A junior world and double European gold medallist in 2011, recently returned to Scotland after being dropped from the British Cycling Academy Programme in Manchester for failing to meet performance targets, he had his own point to prove.
With the pair having navigated their way to victory in their respective semi-finals, it teed up a thrilling gold medal race. After two nailbiting rides it was Paul who edged the win, with Skinner having to settle for the silver. The pair will be back in action again today when they join forces in the team sprint.
"I'm delighted to defend my title, not least in a year leading up to the Commonwealth Games," said Paul. "I'm over the moon."
In the duel for bronze in the men's sprint Bruce Croall (City of Edinburgh) emerged triumphant over Jonathan Mitchell (Glasgow Life Track Cycling Team).
The women's keirin was no less exhilarating with a final surge to the line by Emma Baird (City of Edinburgh) seeing her take gold in a fiercely contested final, following on from her women's sprint victory on Friday evening.
"To do the double feels amazing - I actually feel quite emotional," Baird said. "You never know how the keirin will pan out, it's always a bit of a lottery, but I wanted that title badly."
Jenny Davis and Louise Haston made it a 1-2-3 for City of Edinburgh by finishing second and third respectively. Louise Borthwick (Edinburgh RC) took the junior women's keirin title.
Eleanor Richardson (Edinburgh RC) claimed top spot in the women's 500m time trial in 36.552sec, while Baird had to be content with silver on that occasion clocking 36.678sec. Alison Chisholm (Edinburgh RC), fresh from her victory at the World Track Masters Champion-ships last week, was third in 37.089sec.
"I really wanted to come here and win this one," Richardson said. "To be Scottish national champion feels brilliant especially in the year leading up to the Commonwealth Games.
"This is the event I'm going for qualification in. I've already ridden a 36.1sec and believe I have a high 35sec in me. It's something to build on going into winter."
Kate Mccullough Young (City of Edinburgh) won the junior women's sprint with Flora Gillies (Team ASL360) taking the silver. A name to watch for the future is Hannah McDade who took the youth A girls sprint title on her debut in the Scottish nationals. The 16-year-old was born in Airdrie, but for the past seven years her family has been based in Portland, Oregon. She is among 13 young riders from across the US who are part of UCI registered Exergy Twenty16 junior development team.
The youth A boys' 500m time trial was won by Jack Carlin (Team Thomsons Cycles) in 35.040sec, while Rebecca Dornan (The Racers) took the gold in the girl's event clocking 40.376sec. Carlin later made it a double with gold in the youth A boys' sprint.
Mark Stewart (Team ASL360) claimed the junior men's keirin title, adding to his two golds from the junior madison and junior sprint on Friday.
The UEC European Track Championships get under way in Apeldoorn, Holland, on Friday with rising Scottish star Katie Archibald named in the British women's endurance squad alongside Laura Trott, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Elinor Barker.
The City of Edinburgh rider is expected to compete at the second weekend of the Scottish National Track Championships on October 27.