Kenny on track for Games bid
GOLD MEDAL WINNER RETURNS TO CITY FOR CHAMPIONSHIPS
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