Laura Kenny unhappy with new Omnium format

'They're ruining the history of it' says Olympic and world champion as she gets her first taste of the changes

Laura Kenny is far from pleased with the overhaul of the Omnium format, arguing that the UCI are "ruining the history" of the event and that the changes will lead to negative racing. 

In October, as part of sweeping changes to the track programme, it was announced that the number of races in the event would be reduced from six to four. The individual timed events - pursuit, flying lap, and 500m time trial - were axed, leaving the scratch race, elimination race, points race, and an all-new 'tempo race'.

"I'm all up for change because it keeps training fresh. But when the UCI made the changes I was gutted," Kenny told the Reuters press agency. 

The 24-year-old, née Trott, is the reigning world champion in the Omnium and won the gold medal at the last two Olympic Games. At the Revolution Champions League finale in London this weekend, she got her first taste of racing the new format, finishing second behind Neah Evans. 

That result is mostly a reflection of her form, as she comes back from her post-Olympic switch-off and gears up for the World Championships next year, but she does feel the changes means the event is now less well suited to her. 

"For me personally they've got rid of two strong events for me the 500m and the flying lap. That brings other riders into play.

"They are ruining the history of it," she added. "You won't be able to look back over the results and compare results."

Kenny had to 'learn a new race', as she put it, at the Revolution meet, but her first impressions of the tempo race weren't positive. 

"It's a weird race," she said of the 7.5km mass-start event in which two points are awarded for the leading rider each lap, and 20 for a lap gain. 

Speaking before she tried it for the first time, she said: "Every time you come across the line first you get a point. Is it? Or is it two? I've got to do this tomorrow and I don't even know! I haven't got a clue! I'll just be riding around, like 'what's happening?', help me!"

Kenny ended up finishing third and there was no disappointment in finishing runner-up overall. 

"I'm not 100 per cent fit yet," she said. "I did a team pursuit recently and didn't even finish.

"I missed it, I've been looking forward to racing. I expected to go badly though. My full throttle here won't be like my full throttle in Rio. But it's great to be racing in front of a home crowd again."

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