Eight-time world champion Anna Meares says next year's track cycling world titles in Melbourne hold special significance ahead of the London Olympics.
The world championships will be held from April 4 to 8 and are the final qualification opportunity ahead of the Games, with 350 competitors from 40 countries entered.
Meares and 2011 keirin world champion Shane Perkins today launched the ticket program, riding bikes on rollers on the glass platform at Eureka Skydeck, almost 300 metres above the ground.
Meares said she sees the championships as the opportunity to get a mental and physical edge over her rivals, notably arch foe Britain's Victoria Pendleton.
"It's not just the psychological advantage but it's that self-confidence, that team morale that we need to keep the team rolling through to the London Games," Meares said.
"The London Olympics are going to be really difficult because the British are on their home turf, they're formidable opponents."
Meares said world championship success had historically translated into Olympic gold medals.
At the Beijing Olympics, seven of the 10 gold medals were won by world champions.
"The 2008 world championships, pre the Beijing Olympics, was held in Manchester and we saw the British team dominate at both; the pre-Athens world championships was held here in Melbourne, and we saw the Australian cycling team dominate at those Olympics.
"What we're hoping is to get that momentum because it's going to be key for us, given the challenge we face against a very strong British team on their home turf."
Meares won three world titles this March in Appeldoorn in the Netherlands, which was dominated by the Australian team.
She can add a fourth in Melbourne.
Meares decided not to contest the 500m time trial this year as it preceded her Olympic events, however next year, it has been scheduled last.
She and Pendleton are the only two female cyclists to have won three titles at a world championships.
The 28-year-old will go into the London Olympics - her third - finally carrying the tag of favourite.
She was only a rookie when she claimed gold in Athens in the time trial (since abandoned as an Olympic event) and then fought back to recover from a broken neck and dislocated shoulder to win silver behind Pendleton in the sprint in 2008 in Beijing.
"I'm so excited the world titles are in Melbourne because, before my first Olympics, when I was only 20, Melbourne held the world titles and that was where I won my first world title so it's a great memory."