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Saturday, April 20

Jason Kenny: 'Tokyo 2020 preparations have been a disaster'

PA | 1mo
Kenny and his wife Laura have become parents since they took their combined Olympic gold medal tally to 10 in Rio.

Six-time Olympic champion Jason Kenny has admitted fatherhood has led him to completely reassess his attitude towards cycling.

The 30-year-old is targeting next year's Tokyo Olympics, where another title would see him eclipse Sir Chris Hoy as Britain's most decorated Olympian.

But Kenny is still adjusting to the loss of routine which came when his wife Laura, herself a four-time Olympic champion, gave birth to Albie in August 2017.

"Having Albie has taught me life as a parent is so unpredictable, you just have to accept you might be up in the middle of the night cleaning up poo or something."

Both Kennys suffered disappointment at last month's world championships. Laura withdrew from the omnium through illness after blaming her own performance for Britain taking team pursuit silver behind Australia, while Jason and the men's team sprint squad failed to get into the medal rounds.

Three weeks later, the frustration has not worn off.

"The biggest disappointment for me is to not be at our best for a world championships," Kenny said. "It's the biggest race of the year and it's a shame not to do your best performance."

Kenny believes there are several factors behind the poor showing, but admitted he still has work to do in his conversion to the role of man three – the last man in the team sprint.

"It's having that sustained power," he said. "It doesn't come naturally to me. You look at your natural man threes like Chris Hoy. They naturally produce a nice flat (power) curve, they have a lot of power for a long time."

But Kenny is confident Britain have plenty of time to iron out the kinks and repeat their usual trick of peaking just in time for an Olympic Games.

That means there is plenty of serious work ahead, though this weekend Kenny is looking forward to the much less stressful environment of Six Day Manchester, the cycling equivalent of a house party in which both Kennys will compete as part of a star-studded line-up.

"It's fun," Kenny said. "You're riding your bike for the same reason you were when you were 14 years old and it's for the sake of it. It's the best reason.

"At the same time, you'll be working on those skills that will come into play down the line and help you win when it matters."

:: Tickets for Phynova Six Day Manchester at the UK National Cycling Centre, 22-24 March, are on sale now via ticketmaster.co.uk/sixdaymanchester



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