Laura Kenny enjoying brief respite amidst hectic schedule
Cycling Track

Laura Kenny enjoying brief respite amidst hectic schedule

08 March 2019 / 14:44
Eat. Sleep. Train. Look after Albie. Repeat. When your life is as packed as Laura Kenny's - it's little wonder Team GB's most successful female Olympian is looking forward to a little bit of rest.

But as the cycling super-mum embraces her first week off the bike since giving birth to her son more than 18 months ago, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

After all, she’s got another busy week in store.

“We’ve got carpet fitters here, electricians, plumbers, you name it – they’re coming here,” she explains. “You finally get around to the bits and bobs that need fixing and doing – they don’t get done when you’re in the routine of training and looking after Albie.

“Beyond that it’s mostly just chilling and sorting a few things out. [Husband] Jason is off as well so he’s getting dragged into a lot of stuff.”

Life on the bike has taken on a whole different meaning since Kenny gave birth in August 2017, a new-found focus offering an alternative perspective in elite sport.

 


And in the twilight of a World Championships that will ultimately go down as far-from-perfect – for both Kenny and the British team – there’s arguably been no better time than now to take stock of other projects.

As a seven-time world and 11-time European champion, Kenny is not used to second best or silver medals.

So after settling for a runner-up spot to Australia in the World Championship team pursuit in Poland last week, it was little surprise that answers were required.

Unfortunately – as was exacerbated by her withdrawal from the omnium a day later – the reasons why proved rather close to home, far from feeling her best on the boards of Pruszkow. 

Physical detriment was then quickly followed by mental torture.

“It was out of the blue, the annoying thing was not knowing what made me not feel great because the week before I was completely different,” Kenny added. “The turns I was doing were so much more than I managed at the Worlds.

Can I wear this today Mummy? @glasgow_2018

A post shared by Laura Kenny (@laurakenny31) on


“I felt really responsible after – had I been going how I was the week before and how I wanted to race, we probably would have had a much better chance of getting gold.

“It’s a bit devastating for me because of what could have been for the team.

“It was really frustrating and that feeling has never really happened to me before, and it wasn’t all my choice which makes things hard. Your heart is then telling you to just battle through and do the omnium and your head is saying ‘you’ve got to be mad to even think about doing it’.

“It was about the team as well and I didn’t want to take an opportunity away from a rider who could have done better on the day.”

In true champion style, time for licking wounds has already passed for Kenny – with a brand-new challenge on the horizon.

In just two weeks the 26-year-old will take her on first Six Day as the inaugural Phynova Six Day Manchester comes to town at the home of British Cycling.

For Kenny, in particular, competing when the lights are turned down and the music is turned up is the culmination of an ambition long realised – initially watching British stars wow home crowds on TV while pregnant with Albie.

Missing out on an electric atmosphere she may have been – but not anymore.


“I watched the London Six Day and you could see what a good atmosphere it was – and I’ve just wanted to be a part of it,” she added.

“It made me miss cycling, there weren’t many events through the season that I really felt that about – with World Cups, you knew they came around every season.

“But with Six Day events, I felt like I missed out a little bit, especially when it was in London, so it’s perfect for me with it being in Manchester.

“I love a home crowd and I love the noise, it’s just nice! I love the atmosphere when you’re at home and it’s just exciting, it’s not every day that you get to race on your home velodrome.

“You cherish the times when people are cheering you when you get on that velodrome, it’s a great opportunity to experience that and I really want to enjoy that with Six Day.”

Maybe the old ‘eat, sleep, train, look after Albie, repeat’ routine isn’t so bad after all.

Sportsbeat 2019