Jason Kenny is back from his extended post-Rio break and the six-time Olympic champion proved he hasn’t missed a beat by taking home the team sprint title at the British National Track Cycling Championships in Manchester.
Kenny – who won the team sprint, the individual sprint and the keirin at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games – took to the track alongside a familiar face in Philip Hindes and talented youngster Jack Carlin, anchoring his team home in a time of 43:593 seconds in the final to win gold.
That meant the trio of Matt Rotherham, Tom Rotherham and Joel Partington had to settle for silver with Alex Jolliffe, Lewis Stewart and Hamish Turnbull finishing third.
And while the 29-year-old was ecstatic to be back in a racing environment, he isn’t getting ahead of himself just yet.
“I was pleased to get a ride and have a hit out,” Kenny told British Cycling. “I didn’t really set any targets in terms of coming back – I’m just kind of taking it as it comes for now.
“My target is to be back in the team for the next Europeans and the World Cups next season, and getting stuck in on a regular basis.
“That’s quite a long way away still, so anything in the short-term is just a bonus.”
While Kenny had a satisfying Sunday, the star of the show was undoubtedly Katie Archibald as she completed a double-triple – retaining all three national titles she won a year ago.
On Friday, the team pursuit Olympic gold medallist retained her individual pursuit title, did the same in the scratch race on Saturday and then rounded off her weekend by triumphing in the points race.
Emily Kay was her closest contender in Sunday’s points race and ultimately took silver, with Jess Roberts sealing bronze, but Archibald got her tactics spot-on to complete the treble.
“It’s fantastic,” she said. “It was do or die with about ten laps to go – I was doing the maths and I thought maybe I could get the five points for the sprint and then contest the last one, but then you think to yourself, this is the last lap – if you latch on to the pack here, this is your everything.
“It obviously wasn’t all over, as I still had to mark Emily Kay, but it’s amazing how your mindset just switches – as soon as I latched on, I felt ready to go again.”
Archibald also picked up a bronze medal in the women’s sprint on Friday, while Katy Marchant took gold in that event by beating Sophie Capewell in the final.
And Marchant became a double national champion on Sunday when her time of 34:584 seconds was good enough to win the women’s 500m time trial.