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Kenny optimistic on form heading into track world championships

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2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships coverage | Get into track cycling | Jason Kenny bio |
Published: 25 February 2014
Written by: Scott Hobro
Video: Simon Powers

Three-time Olympic champion Jason Kenny is optimistic about his form ahead of the 2014 UCI Track Cycling World Championships.

Kenny will defend his world keirin title in Cali, Colombia as well as competing in the team and individual sprint disciplines.

“I feel like my form is OK going into the world championships,” said Kenny, who has won two rainbow jerseys. “I would like to be going faster but I think I would always like to be going faster.

“I am fairly happy. I know I have worked quite hard this year and I think things haven't gone too bad. I'm pretty happy with how everything has gone.

“We'll have to see what happens, it’s kind of icing on the cake time at the world championships.”

The 25-year-old won keirin silver and sprint bronze at the season’s first major international meeting, the European championships.

Team sprint bronze followed at last November’s UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Manchester but Kenny missed out on a keirin medal and then failed to qualify for the individual sprint, placing 24th in the 200-metre flying lap with only the top 16 progressing to the knockout stages.

He responded with silver in the sprint and team sprint at the second round of the competition in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

Kenny explains the form by describing himself as a ‘momentum’ rider and is confident his performances have gradually improved over the course of the season.

“I think all the events I have done have gone pretty well to be honest with you,” said Kenny, a triple junior world champion in 2006.

“My qualifying pace wasn't there earlier in the season, particularly in Manchester when I didn't qualify for the sprint but when I have qualified and when I've got involved I've got some results.

“I think I tend to be a bit of a momentum kind of rider if you like, I like to build on results and pace and get quicker and quicker and that's how I see it in my head. I am not the kind of rider that can just go all year going really slow and then pop up and go really well.

“Hopefully I have been working on that, particularly qualifying pace I've been working really hard and that will put me in a good spot.

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Jason Kenny has enjoyed his reign as keirin champion.

“It’s really hard to win if you qualify 10th you’ve got a long way to go because you are racing fast guys really early on, so if I can qualify in the top three of four I am in with a good chance of getting through the first few rounds in relatively good shape.”

Kenny has won two Olympic gold medals in the team sprint but has never been on the top of the podium in the discipline at a world championships.

In South America he will line-up with 21-year-olds Philip Hindes and Kian Emadi, the trio having finished sixth at last year’s meeting in Minsk.

Kenny believes they have made progress and can contend for the medal spots, having briefly held a world record time in Aguascalientes before Germany bettered their effort.

“I think we've made a good step forward, to be honest I think we're going really well and we've done some really good times this year,” said Kenny.

“So although we are going well and doing some solid times the rest of the world has kind of moved on ahead of us so I think we are chasing a little bit.

“Particularly we are chasing the Germans who seem to be setting the standard at the minute but we have been working really hard to tidy it up and do our best ride and hopefully that will be enough to push for some medals.”

The Bolton-born rider also wants to show his keirin win in Belarus last year - which came after Kenny was reinstated for the final - was no accident having enjoyed a year in the rainbow jersey.

“It was the perfect last year, the keirin world title was very special,” Kenny said. “The final was amazing it just landed on my lap and I just took it with both hands.

“I've really enjoyed being world champion this year and so hopefully I'd like to go out and have a good go at defending that and show it wasn't a fluke.”

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