This year's UCI BMX Supercross World Cup gets underway near Paris this weekend ©UCI

France's Sylvain André will begin the defence of his BMX Supercross World Cup title on home ground this weekend as the 2018 series starts at Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines near Paris - with a record entry of 290 riders.

The French venue, new to the International Cycling Union (UCI) calendar, will host the first and second round this weekend, starting tomorrow.

The previous record entry for this event was 240 in another French venue, Fréjus in 2010, followed by 235 entries at Heusden-Zolder in Belgium last year.

Other than André, favourites for the men’s elite competition in this huge field include his compatriot Joris Daudet, who is flying in from the United States, and 2017 UCI world champion Corben Sharrah, from Tucson, Arizona.

Britain's Kyle Evans and Niek Kimmann of The Netherlands have also shown strong form in recent racing at Verona.

Many of the European elite racers have booked training sessions at the track to prepare, which could mean they have a slight advantage over racers traveling from further afield.

But Australia's Kai Sakakibara has been over in Europe for a while acclimatising, and could be a strong threat, having finished second at a race in Italy last week.  

His sister, Kaya, will be a strong challenger in the women's field, which has attracted 56 entries.

She will face strong competition from Laura Smulders of The Netherlands and Colombia's Mariana Pajon.

Meanwhile, Axelle Etienne and Manon Valentino will hope to use home advantage to get on the podium at their regular training ground.

Bethany Shriever of Britain, Sarah Walker of New Zealand, Laura Reynolds of Australia and Elke Vanhoof of The Netherlands will also be well in the mix.