Laura Kenny returned to UCI Track World Cup racing for the first time in two years at the second round of the series held in Milton, Canada, this weekend. The decorated British cyclist won gold medals in the Team Pursuit and Omnium.
"Canada you have been wonderful," Kenny posted on her social media channels Monday. "My first world cup since January 2016 and what a great time we have had. Team Pursuit and Omnium gold."
Kenny is a four-time Olympic gold medallist, having won the Team Pursuit and Omnium in 2012 in London and in 2016 in Rio. She is also a seven-time world champion on the track as a member of Team Great Britain.
Kenny took some time off following her pregnancy and birth of her first child, and she returned to racing at the UCI Track World Championships in Apeldoorn in February.
The UCI announced changes to the Omnium following the Olympic Games in Rio, reducing it from six events to four: Scratch Race, Elimination Race, Points Pace, and the Tempo Race, but it removed the Pursuit, Flying Lap and 500m Time Trial.
Kenny initially expressed disappointment over the changes saying that it would ruin the history of the Omnium. Following her success in Milton, however, Kenny said she was getting used to the new format.
"I got given the opportunity at this world cup to ride an omnium," Kenny wrote on social media. "To say I was nervous would have been an understatement. My first world cup in the new format.
"It took me a couple of events to find my feet and to get used to racing at this level again, but once I did I felt more and more like my old self, and by the points race I started to really enjoy it!"
Great Britain’s women’s endurance team included Megan Barker, Neah Evans, Emily Kay and Rebecca Raybould, who competed in the first UCI Track World Cup in Paris. Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Ellie Dickinson joined Kenny in Milton.
In a British Cycling press release, Team Performance Director Stephen Park said the women’s endurance team is full of talent heading into the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
This competition for places is perhaps most evident in Great Britain’s women’s endurance squad, where the likes of Emily Kay, Neah Evans, Manon Lloyd, Emily Nelson and Ellie Dickinson have all stepped up to the mark post-Rio and are now challenging Olympic champions Laura Kenny, Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker for places across the three Olympic endurance events.
“Within our women’s endurance programme, we’ve got a bit of an embarrassment of riches,” Park said. “Laura’s return adds great experience, as do Katie and Elinor, although they’re all still incredibly young.
“Then, the likes of Ellie, Neah, Emily [Kay], Manon and Emily [Nelson] have all emerged and are also fighting for places in Tokyo. It puts us in a great place, and it’s going to serve us well not just for 2020 for also for Paris in 2024.”
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