Kenny back on top

Six-time Olympic cham­pion re­turns to his best as Tokyo beck­ons

Cycling Weekly - - NEWS -

Fol­low­ing his break from the sport last year Jason Kenny seems to be get­ting back to some­thing near his best, win­ning the keirin at last week­end’s World Cup track meet­ing in Mil­ton, Canada.

Not to be out­done, his wife Laura Kenny claimed two golds — one in the team pur­suit along­side Katie Archibald, Eli­nor Barker and Eleanor Dick­in­son, and a se­cond gold in the om­nium.

Kenny had qui­etly de­cided he would make Rio 2016, where he won golds in the team sprint, sprint and keirin, his fi­nal Olympic Games. But af­ter be­com­ing a fa­ther in 2017 and hav­ing most of the year away from com­pe­ti­tion, he equally qui­etly slipped back into it, re­turn­ing to the boards at the Rev­o­lu­tion Series in Jan­uary. He’s had a low pro­file year, but his per­for­mance at Mil­ton sug­gests that Kenny’s form is start­ing to come good.

“I’m sure it will be a huge con­fi­dence boost to him, to come back to win­ning ways,” said Bri­tish Cy­cling head coach Iain Dyer. “It’s his first re­ally sig­nif­i­cant out­ing at this level since Rio. He also did a very good man-three team sprint, so all told it’s a re­ally good start.”

He ad­mit­ted hop­ing Kenny would choose to come back, but qual­i­fied: “We’re al­ways cau­tious that the rider’s got to want to do it. It’s such a mas­sive com­mit­ment and noth­ing less than 100 per cent is go­ing to get you to your end goal.

“Tak­ing the time was a wise thing to do, to see if the fire’s still burn­ing brightly, and clearly it is,” he added.

The Ken­nys didn’t have all the Bri­tish suc­cess to them­selves though. No­tably the Huub-wat­tbike Test Team im­proved on their bronze from last week’s World Cup in France to take sil­ver be­hind Den­mark in the team pur­suit with Dan Bigham, Jonny Wale, Harry Tan­field and John Archibald. That per­for­mance saw them bet­ter Great Bri­tain, who beat France into fourth place with Steven Burke, Ed Clancy, Kian Emadi and Ol­lie Wood.

GB’S Mark Stewart and Ol­lie Wood im­pressed with a sil­ver each in the om­nium and scratch race re­spec­tively, be­fore team­ing up for the Madi­son and adding an­other sil­ver to the team’s haul.

Suc­cess for GB is now very much part of the Olympic strat­egy for Tokyo, Dyer said: “It’s ex­actly what we’ve been look­ing at do­ing all along. If we score well in these events and load up our points that’s go­ing to stand us in very good stead.”

The next World Cup is in Ber­lin (Nov 30-Dec 2), be­fore the track series comes to London two weeks later.

Kenny won the Keirin in Mil­ton, Canada

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