Laura Trott isn’t about to permanently swap her track bike for a road one but the double Olympic champion insists a bit more fresh air is working wonders as she looks to blow away the cobwebs after an unforgettable seven months.
The 21-year-old was undoubtedly one of the brightest lights from a golden Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics last summer, winning team pursuit and omnium gold on her Games bow.
Despite such achievements, there was no time to rest as Trott turned her attentions to Minsk in February and defending her team pursuit and omnium World Championship titles from the previous year.
While Trott roared to gold in the team pursuit, alongside Dani King and Elinor Barker, she had to settle for silver in the omnium behind American Sarah Hammer – the first time she had failed to top the podium at a major championship.
Since, Trott has been strutting her stuff for the new Wiggle Honda road team, owning the white jersey for the best young rider after stage one of the Energiewacht Tour earlier this month.
And, despite clearly showing prowess on the road, Trott admits it is only a short sabbatical before the serious business of the track returns – although it is a much needed one to ensure she doesn’t have to settle for second best ever again.
“I am not going to lie, being on the road is hard and I am not going to pretend it is not,” she said. “But I have enjoyed it and to be honest it has been nice to have something new and exciting to work towards.
“After the Olympics and heading to the World Champions motivation was starting to wane because I had worked so hard and put everything into London 2012.
“So going to the road was something fresh and new and I think I needed that and it has been good fun to be with the new team that includes some new faces in it.
“The one thing that is probably obvious but really hit me was just how long cycling on the road is. It was a bit of a shock to the system to be honest.
“For the first couple of days I felt fine and finished fourth in the one-day race so I think that showed that I was doing OK. But I was just not used to it and it got tougher and tougher and I just fell away.
“I am never going to ride on the road at a Games or anything like that but I think that it can help me with my track cycling.”
It isn’t just the road that Trott has had to get used to in recent months, with her London 2012 adventure propelling her into the nation’s conscious.
But, much like her stint away from the track, Trott is taking her new-found role-model status in her stride as well.
“I know that because of what happened at London 2012 I am now having to be a bit more of a mentor or role model than I was before but to be honest I am not really thinking about it.
I am just myself and I don’t really know any other way to be,” she added.
“I think that is the best way to approach it really, by just being your normal self and taking it in your stride so to speak.
“When I was growing up I had Sir Bradley Wiggins and Sir Chris Hoy and it is a bit mad to think that I now have a similar role but I don’t think it has changed me.”
© Sportsbeat 2013