Kenny on track for Games bid

GOLD MEDAL WIN­NER RE­TURNS TO CITY FOR CHAM­PI­ONSHIPS

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT - CY­CLING @MENS­ports

SIX-TIME Olympic cham­pion Ja­son Kenny will look to add to his haul of na­tional ti­tles as he be­gins Olympic year by con­test­ing the HSBC UK Na­tional Track Cham­pi­onships next month.

Bolton-born Kenny, who won three Olympic ti­tles in Rio and is eye­ing fur­ther suc­cess in Tokyo, has en­tered the team sprint at the na­tional cham­pi­onships, which will pro­vide rid­ers with the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to lay down a marker ahead of a busy year of track rac­ing.

He said: “Next year is ob­vi­ously a mas­sive year, and ev­ery op­por­tu­nity we get to race on the track ahead of Tokyo is an im­por­tant one. Na­tion­als is al­ways a re­ally en­joy­able week­end, and it’ll be a good way to start a huge year of rac­ing.”

The cham­pi­onships again take place in Manch­ester, over the week­end of Jan­uary 24-26.

Kenny isn’t the only Olympic cham­pion who will be in ac­tion in the men’s sprint event. He will be joined in Team In­spired colours by Phil Hin­des, who won the team sprint event along­side Kenny in both London and Rio.

Ryan Owens, Jack Car­lin and Joe Tru­man – all of whom have world cup ti­tles to their name – have also en­tered, while the next gen­er­a­tion of Bri­tish sprint­ers is rep­re­sented by the likes of Harry Led­ing­ham-Horn and Ed Lowe, who have gained re­cent at­ten­tion by break­ing na­tional youth records.

The 2019 edi­tion of the cham­pi­onships saw HUUB Wat­tbike p/b Vita Coco’s John Archibald record what was then the fastest sea-level in­di­vid­ual pur­suit time in his­tory, 4:09.584, on his way to gold in the men’s en­durance. This year the Scot is back again, as he looks to add to his bur­geon­ing col­lec­tion of medals, which now also in­cludes bronze from the mixed team time trial at the UCI Road World Cham­pi­onships in York­shire.

His fel­low medal­list from that day, Dan Bigham, will also ride the in­di­vid­ual pur­suit, the event in which he was run­ner-up to Archibald in 2019. Their HUUB Wat­tbike p/b Vita Coco team will also be look­ing to re­tain their team pur­suit ti­tle, af­ter clock­ing a best time of 3:52.579 at the re­cent Tis­sot UCI Track Cy­cling World Cup in Bris­bane.

Also fresh from a suc­cess­ful win­ter of world cups is Mark Ste­wart, and the Scot will ride the points and scratch races at na­tion­als. Rhys Brit­ton will be out to de­fend his points race ti­tle, while Ethan Ver­non, Fred Wright and Will Tid­ball will also be in the hunt for na­tional cham­pion’s jer­seys in the bunch races.

Me­gan Barker will con­test what looks to be a highly com­pet­i­tive women’s in­di­vid­ual pur­suit, as a host of rid­ers com­pete for the ti­tle which has been in Katie Archibald’s hands for each of the past three years.

Along with Barker, York­shire 2019 medal­list Jos Low­den, na­tional om­nium cham­pion Ella Barn­well, na­tional Madi­son cham­pion Jenny Holl, Emily Meakin and Leah Dixon will all be in con­tention.

Dixon, Barn­well and Holl will also con­test the bunch races, as will Manon Lloyd, who her­self boasts an en­vi­able track record at do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional level.

The women’s sprint events will see in­trigu­ing bat­tles be­tween sev­eral up-and-com­ing rid­ers, in­clud­ing the likes of Lau­ren Bate, So­phie Capewell and Milly Tan­ner.

El­lie Coster will look to de­fend her 500m time trial ti­tle, while Emma Fin­u­cane – who has en­joyed out­stand­ing re­cent suc­cess at world and Euro­pean cham­pi­onships at ju­nior level – also takes her place on the start line.

Tick­ets for the cham­pi­onships can be pur­chased at: tick­et­mas­ter.co.uk/ british­cy­cling

M.E.N. Sport has a pair of tick­ets for the even­ing ses­sion on Fri­day, Jan­uary 24, to be won. All you have to do for your chance to win is email your name and con­tact de­tails to: trackchamp­[email protected]­cy­cling.org.uk by Jan­uary 2.

Ja­son Kenny will be rid­ing in Manch­ester next month

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