‘It’s fresh’

Laura Kenny in action in the omnium at Rio 2016

Laura Kenny won the omnium at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Four-time Olympic champion Laura Kenny says she is enjoying the “freshness” of learning a new omnium format before Tokyo 2020.

Kenny, who won two of her Olympic golds in the event, made her omnium return with victory at the Track World Cup in Milton, Canada, in October.

The omnium has been changed to a one-day, four-event format at international level ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

“I like the fact that it’s now really punchy,” said the 26-year-old.

“For me, it brings a freshness to it – it’s a different event so I have to relearn it, and I quite like that because there’s nothing to compare it to.”

The UCI announced changes to the omnium format in October 2016, removing the individually-timed events and leaving the scratch race, elimination race, points race, and the new tempo race.

Kenny returned to the track in March – six months after giving birth to her son, Albie – and has since won national and European titles.

But last month’s outing in Milton marked her return to omnium, winning her second gold of the event having already claimed the team pursuit title.

“Canada was probably the best I’ve felt in a long time,” she said. “It’s always hard to compare, because the last racing I did before I had Albie was at an Olympic Games, which is the peak of your career, but I was really pleased with how I performed in Canada.

“It took a bit of getting used to – I was a little bit shaky in the first two events in Milton and didn’t feel comfortable in the bunch, as there were a lot of riders who I didn’t know.

“But once I started the elimination race, I thought ‘actually, I can do this’, and I felt like myself again. Then I really enjoyed the points race – I just felt free to race my bike, and I really did love it.”

Kenny will return to the boards for round three of the Track World Cup in Berlin, Germany, between 30 November and 2 December before the event travels to the Lee Valley VeloPark in London from 14 to 16 December.

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/cycling/46304803

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