Kenny set to defy injury at Track World Championships

You hear about athletes competing with niggles and strains all the time, but at this year's Track Cycling World Championships Laura Kenny will be riding with a broken shoulder.

Four-time Olympic champion Kenny, 27, crashed in the tempo race in the omnium at the Track World Cup in Milton, Canada in January and has opted to not have the resulting injury operated on so she can compete in Berlin.

Her and her husband Jason Kenny will spearhead the GB Cycling Team in Germany as they gear themselves up for the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

The pair only returned to the track in 2019 after the birth of their son Albie, and Laura will compete in the women’s endurance while Jason will race the men’s sprint.

And the former told BBC Sport: "Did I want an operation to get it fixed, but with a two-week delay in me getting back on the bike, or did I want to just see how it goes?”

"I decided to see how it goes and the next day I got back on my bike. I know it's a broken bone, I'm not stupid, but if I can ride I will ride.

"I wanted to put my hand up for all three events in Berlin but I can't physically do the madison and I can't do a standing start in the team pursuit," she said.

"That's slightly frustrating but I never thought I wouldn't go to the Worlds and I know a lot of people within British Cycling thought I'd lost the plot.”

The seven-time world champion is determined to prove her doubters wrong as she wants to make sure that the time she misses spending with her new-born does not go to waste.

"If I have the form that I had a month ago, I'd like to think I could still get selected for all three events come Tokyo," she added.

"I haven't sacrificed all this time with him [Albie] for no reason, and a part of me was thinking that when I crashed, I haven't put in all this hard work and had all this time away for no reason, so there was no way I was not going to the Worlds.

"I do it for Albie now. I want him and everyone to be able to see that these little hiccups happen but why should they get in the way?”

Five-time world champion Ed Clancy is also part of the GB team heading to Berlin and he is viewing the Championships as the perfect warm-up for the Olympics.

"You won't necessarily see the fruits of all our hard work in the next week or two but in five months' time we're going to see some good stuff and I think we'll do some performances that the British public can be proud of once again," he told BBC Sport.

Clancy, 34, has spent over 15 years at the top level on the boards and announced he will be looking to go out on top as he nears retirement.

"I'm getting on these days, and thinking back, 2005 was the first World Championships and 15 years later we're still hanging on," he said.

"I prefer not to see it as hanging on, but the reality is that at some point it's going to come to an end - though not before Tokyo.

“I've got two races left. The World Championships and the Olympics. But when you break it down, there are six times, at most, I'm going to get on that bike with the Union Jack on my back. That's quite something."

The Great Britain Cycling Team for the UCI Track Cycling World Championships, Berlin:

Men's Endurance Ed Clancy Kian Emadi Ethan Hayter Mark Stewart Charlie Tanfield Matt Walls Ollie Wood

Women's Endurance Katie Archibald Elinor Barker Eleanor Dickinson Neah Evans Laura Kenny Josie Knight

Men's Sprint Jack Carlin Phil Hindes Jason Kenny Ryan Owens

Women's Sprint Lauren Bate Sophie Capewell Katy Marchant

Sportsbeat 2020