Katy Marchant is thriving on the “discomfort” of being back in a team environment as she gears up for next week’s UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow.

Marchant returned to competition earlier this year after giving birth to son Arthur last June, but the Great Britain sprint set-up she came back to was very different to the one she had left behind following the Tokyo Games.

Britain have failed to qualify for the women’s team sprint at each of the last two Olympics and Marchant flew the flag alone in Japan.

But since then Britain have taken team sprint bronze at each of the last two world championships, both times without Marchant, as a new generation emerges with eyes on the Paris Games.

It has meant Marchant must now fight for a place – where before she was the only contender – but the 30-year-old has been determined to embrace the challenge.

“I feel more comfortable in the individual events because that’s familiar territory but I’m really enjoying the discomfort of being in the team,” Marchant said.

“I want the personal challenge, I needed the new challenge. That’s what was pulling me back in.”

Marchant enjoyed immediate success on her return to racing as she won European team sprint silver alongside Lauren Bell and Sophie Capewell in Grenchen.

“When you’re in a team that’s being successful, it’s so nice to be able to share that with teammates,” she added.

“I feel that’s what’s driving me now to get to Paris, the fact the team is at such a high level.

“It’s made me having to progress quicker than what we had thought and now it’s a case of seeing if I can make the team.”

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Bell, 24, has called Marchant, who is aiming to compete at a third Olympics next summer, the “mother hen” of the sprint squad, something the Rio bronze medallist can accept with a laugh.

"I like to think I lead by example but I’ve got quite strong views on the way I am and how I want to operate,” she said. “It’s been really nice to be a member of a team but bring something different to the team.

“In different scenarios they do come and ask me for advice because I’m that little bit older and I’ve been around the block, but at the same time they lead me as well because they give me something I’ve not had before – the support of team-mates and the competition of team-mates.

“The group environment is nice. They call me old but it’s nice to have a laugh and a joke with a younger group, and remember why we’re here and why we do this.”

These world championships come a year before the Paris Games, a change to the previous format in which the last set of rainbow jerseys was handed out just a few months before an Olympics.

It means these championships are unlikely to have the usual pre-Olympic drama where rivals would size up each other and their kit, but Marchant expects no less intensity as a result.

“A lot can happen in 12 months going into the Olympics but at the same time, there’s only one opportunity to have a big dress rehearsal like this so people will be taking that opportunity,” she said.

“People will still be getting quicker and they will go to the Olympics going to the next level again but people will be coming to Glasgow and looking to lay a benchmark.”