Australia's go-to Olympic track cycling medal source will be watching the Tokyo Games from the couch but Anna Meares is confident the team can still threaten Great Britain's stranglehold of the velodrome.
Meares' sprint victory in London is the country's only Olympic cycling title since she was among five Australian gold medals at Athens 2004.
A bronze in Meares' swan song was one of just two Australian medals in total at the track in Rio five years ago.
Britain's dominance reached new heights in Brazil, every member that raced leaving with a medal in a haul that included six gold, four silver and one bronze.
Their recent hold on the sport has been questioned this week with the World Anti-Doping Agency investigating UK Anti-Doping following reports British Cycling was able to carry out its own investigation into a rider's questionable urine sample.
Australia's overhauled cycling program has copped criticism for its meagre returns, Meares the only consistent with silver, gold and bronze medals across the last three Games.
She said it took 18 months to unpack her bike after retiring, but has rediscovered her love for the sport thanks to virtual riding and will this week lead a social pack on Zwift's Tour of Watopia.
Meares will commentate the Tokyo action remotely from home and anticipates happier returns in July.
"The Brits have dominated the Olympics the last few cycles, so Australia's not the only nation that hasn't won medals," she told AAP.
"I came home from Rio with the only individual medal won on the track and the disappointment around that it wasn't gold was heartbreaking for me.
"That all said, it's not my call to place a benchmark on this team but I feel more confident they'll be in the mix of medals, more than the last few Olympiads."
Stephanie Morton's retirement after the postponed 2020 Games was a blow to the program, but in veterans Kaarle McCullough and Matt Glaetzer and emerging talents Lucas Plapp and Maeve Plouffe there is hope.
Sprinter Glaetzer has finished fourth at the last two Games and overcome thyroid cancer and a torn calf since late 2019.
"We all experienced COVID; he's experienced COVID, cancer and torn muscles," Meares said.
"He will be very strong with the three opportunities (team sprint, individual sprint and keirin).
"And he's been fourth at the last two Olympics and in my heart he deserves a medal and it'd be icing on the cake if he was contributing to the tally."