Cycling: Golden girl Kenny puzzled by omnium changes

Sat Dec 3, 2016 7:28am EST
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's track cycling golden girl Laura Kenny says drastic changes to the omnium event she has owned at the past two Olympics have left her scratching her head.

Her name was not the only thing different as she cranked back into action at the Revolution Series in London's velodrome on Friday - her first race since winning team pursuit and omnium gold in Rio as Laura Trott.

A few weeks after marrying six-times Olympic track champion Jason Kenny in September, cycling's governing body the UCI axed the pursuit, flying lap and time trial from the omnium and introduced a 7.5km "tempo race".

Although Kenny welcomes change if it helps makes the omnium more TV friendly, she admits being clueless about the tempo race she was set to ride on Saturday.

Talking as fast as she pedals, the ebullient Kenny burst into giggles when explaining the 7.5km bunch race to Reuters.

"It's a weird race. 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!" she said.

"I'm all up for change because it keeps training fresh. But when the UCI made the changes I was gutted. They are ruining the history of it. You won't be able to look back over the results and compare results. I'm not so sure. It's learning a new race."

The tempo race actually awards two points to the leader on each lap, with one to the rider in second place. Gaining a lap on the bunch is worth 20 points.   Continued...

2016 Rio Olympics - Cycling Track - Victory Ceremony - Men's Keirin Victory Ceremony - Rio Olympic Velodrome - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - 16/08/2016. Gold medalist Jason Kenny (GBR) of Britain poses with his gilfriend, women's omnium gold medalist Laura Trott (GBR) of Britain.   REUTERS/Matthew Childs