Laura Kenny says Britain’s track squad ‘have to come together as a team’ ahead of Tokyo 2020

Multiple Olympic champion Kenny reflects on a ‘frustrating’ World Championships

Laura Kenny has reflected on Britain's performance at the track World Championships (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Track star Laura Kenny says the British squad "have to come together as a team" ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

British riders may have fallen behind rival nations on the boards after they came away from the 2019 World Championships with just one gold medal.

Kenny, 26, suffered from an unexpected drop in form after showing great promise during training the previous week, possibly due to illness.

The four-time Olympic champion told Cycling Weekly: “I don’t think we can be complacent because then we’ll never get a result.

“I just think it’s a process and British Cycling are normally really good at that process.

“I think from here on in we have to come together as a team, and not just the women’s squad and men’s squads, not the individual teams, the whole team as a collective and we need to move forward and work together.”

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The British squad suffered a number of setbacks in Poland, as Katie Archibald was pulled from the women’s Madison event due to concussion and Kenny dropped out of the omnium due to her sudden loss of form.

In the women’s team pursuit, the British squad came second to the Australians while the men also came second in the discipline.

GB did win four medals, including one gold courtesy of Elinor Barker in the scratch race.

On her sudden drop in performance, Kenny said: “It’s one of those frustrating things that I’ll never find out what was wrong.

“They thought it was a virus, but I’ll never actually know. All I know is it wiped anything that I had.

“Last week in training, it was a different story. I could do way more than I could do in any of the rounds at the weekend. It was just a little bit disappointing for me to know I had really good form and I was really confident going into it, to then having nothing.”

Kenny said she threw up on the day of qualifying and had been suffering from lower back pain.

She added: “It wasn’t until the team pursuit when I thought ‘wow I can’t do this. It’s just gone.’ It was a bit frustrating, because I felt responsible for the team’s performance.”

The Worlds in Poland is not the first time Britain have underwhelmed in pre-Olympic competition.

In 2015, the team came away from the Worlds with no gold medals but went on to an outstanding performance at the Rio Olympics a year later.

The GB team now have 16 months before their main goal, the Tokyo Olympics.

Kenny is due to take part in her first Six Day event in Manchester later this month.

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She said: “I’m really looking forward to the atmosphere. When I was pregnant with Albie I was watching the London Six Day on telly and it was one of the only events where I wished I was there.

“We do World Cups and we do World Championships every year, but when the Six Day was on, because it was a new event, I kind of missed being there.

“I was almost jealous that everyone else was racing and I couldn’t. So I’m really looking forward to it.”

The inaugural Manchester Six Day takes place from March 22-24, with tickets currently on sale.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.