Northern Ireland athlete Wendy Houvenaghel took her first serious step towards the Olympic Games in London by clinching gold in the women's team pursuit on the first day of competition at the European Championships in Pruszkow, Poland.
Normally this has been an under-23 event but the sports governing body, the UCI, decided earlier this year that Olympic qualifying points would be available and so stars such as Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton passed on last month's Commonwealth Games in Delhi to concentrate on these championships.
Ironically neither won their opening events but Houvenaghel - fresh from her silver medal representing Northern Ireland at the Commonwealths - led a new combination to a comfortable win.
The Upperlands rider was joined by world junior champion Laura Trott and GB Academy rider Katie Colclough in a dominating performance.
Based on the times from last year's world championships this was expected to be a tough competition for Great Britain to win but in qualifying the trio blew their rivals away with the fastest time of 3:24.916.
After the first kilometre they were only the third fastest before they really started to come into their own, moving ahead of the field by over three seconds by the finish.
They met Lithuania in the final and from early on it was all about the margin of victory, not whether they would win, the victory made more impressive considering how little work they had done on the track together prior to the championships.
So it was an excellent start to the Olympic qualifying campaign with points secured early on and it showed the strength in depth of the GB squad with
Joanna Rowsell and Lizzie Armitstead, with whom Houvenaghel has won gold and sliver alongside at the world championships still to return.
Olympic qualification will be decided by the Olympic Track Ranking, which is compiled by the UCI using the best results at the 2011 and 2012 World Championships, World Cup Classics in 2010-11 and 2011-12, and the last two continental championships.