Great Britain’s sprint world champion, Jason Kenny, is focused on building “raw speed” ahead of next month’s closing round of the UCI Track World Cup in London.
The 23-year-old, awarded the rainbow jersey of sprint world champion earlier this month after Frenchman Gregory Bauge was stripped of the title for missing an out of competition drugs test, beat Sir Chris Hoy at last Saturday’s Revolution meeting on his way to victory in the sprint final.
He is one of Dave Brailsford’s key selections for the London world cup, which will double as the Olympic test event. But despite his continued success at the highest level, Kenny remains grounded and focused on riding even faster as he turns his attention to international competition.
Kenny told British Cycling: “I think with regards to the early season I’d been racing reasonable well but I’ve just been missing that bit in qualifying which has been putting me in tricky places to start with. So I’m just concentrating on getting quicker. The qualifying was a bit average again, but training is going in the right direction. Hopefully that competitive racing will bring on the raw speed and that’ll put me in a good place heading into the London world cup and the world championships.”
He rode to victory against a French line-up in the team sprint competition at Revolution alongside Hoy and Matt Crampton. His next outing will be at the London round of the UCI Track World Cup in February; the closing round of the series and the Olympic test event.
Kenny described his Revolution performance as “an opportunity to get stuck in and see where are at with only a couple of weeks to go until the London World Cup.” After next month’s Olympic test event at London’s new velodrome, Kenny will turn his attention to the UCI Track World Championships in Melbourne.
“The world championships are the main short term goal but I think with the London World Cup and the Olympics being on that track later in the year it’s obviously going to be important for everyone. It would be nice to turn up there in form, to be competitive and get stuck into the racing to get a feel for the place. “There’s not many races until the Olympics, so I came back from Perth in good shape and have tried to keep that momentum going. Hopefully I can keep building momentum through London then the world championships and onto the Olympics,” he told British Cycling.
Strong performances at the world championships will be a key milestone on the road to selection for the Olympics. Kenny left Beijing with a gold medal from the team sprint and a silver medal from the individual sprint, and also competed in the Keirin. But the Lancastrian has yet to decide the events on which he will focus his bid for selection for London 2012.
He told British Cycling: “I’ve not really given it much thought to be honest, I think I’ve got plenty of weaknesses to be working on in the meantime so I’m just pushing to get as fast as I can. Obviously the team sprint is still really important and at the front end of everyone’s minds.
“At the minute we’ve got our team of four with a few of the guys who could step up. Hopefully within that team we’ll get it right on the day and get the fastest team we’ve got out there and hopefully I’ll be in it. I’m pretty confident that if we all have a good day we can be the best team. I’m not overly concerned about that as selection is not my job, I’m just focusing on going fast and hopefully I’ll be in the team. “It’s an exciting time to be in the sport, we have got a full house here at Revolution and that’s not uncommon now and the World Cup has sold out as well. I’m really enjoying it, working hard and trying to move that form on a bit.”