Dutchman Sven Kramer will bid for a ninth men's International Skating Union (ISU) World Allround Speed Skating Championships title when the latest edition of the event comes to Hamar in Norway this weekend.
Kramer, a three-time Olympic gold medallist, arrives for the competition at the Vikingskipet, which played host to speed skating at the 1994 Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, as the favourite to secure yet another major honour.
His toughest challenge is likely to come from team-mate Jan Blokhuijsen, who already has two silver and two bronze medals at the World Allround Championships to his name.
Home skater Sverre Lunde Pedersen beat Blokhuijsen to silver in Berlin last year, but has struggled for form this season, largely due to illness.
The 24 skaters in the men's field will compete in 500 metres, 1,500m, 5,000m and 10,000m events, with the big combination crown up for grabs.
Points will be calculated on the basis of the 500m, meaning the totals for the 1,500m and 5,000m will be divided by three and 10 respectively.
The battle for the women's crown is set to be a thrilling affair, with three-time Olympic champion Martina Sáblíková of the Czech Republic and Dutch competitor Ireen Wüst among those who are in contention for the gold medal.
Sáblíková emerged triumphant last year but Wüst, a four-time Olympic gold medallist, comes into the competition in Hamar in better form.
The Dutchwoman, who has five World Allround Championships titles, beat her arch rival in the ISU European Allround Speed Skating Championships in Heerenveen in January.
She also took the 3,000m World title at the ISU World Single Distances Speed Skating Championships in Gangneung in February.
However, the formidable duo are not guaranteed to finish in the top two spots on the podium as the likes of Antoinette de Jong of The Netherlands will have strong hopes of success in the Norwegian town.
The event concludes on Sunday (March 5).