The Olympic buzz came roaring back for Laura Kenny after bagging double TISSOT UCI Track World Cup gold on her return to London.
The Lee Valley VeloPark played host to the first two of Kenny’s four Olympic gold medals to date – and the capital boards certainly delivered for her once again.
World Cup titles in both the team pursuit and Madison events had the partisan crowd on their feet, revelling in the memories of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
But the spectators weren’t the only ones embracing memories of old, with an electric atmosphere giving Kenny a satisfaction she has yearned for since returning to the track after giving birth to son, Albie.
“I love this track, I absolutely love it. I honestly think that for me this is the best track in the world. The crowd are always amazing and it just feels like it’s my home,” she said.
“Every time I step out on this track I get the exact same buzz that I had at the Olympics. It just feels like home, I like it.
“I treat the Madison like an elimination race, you never want to be too far back. You always have to be moving forward I think that’s really important.
“Katie (Archibald) and I didn’t have the best track record together coming into this race but you never know when it comes to the Madison.
DYNAMIC DUO: Katie Archibald (left) and Kenny were racing for only the second time together but still won madison gold
“It’s a new event for us and missing the year last year it meant I missed some of the ones where everyone was learning.
“We saw that the timing was important and this time we got it right, and that’s what makes a good Madison.”
This was just the second time Kenny and Archibald had raced a competitive Madison, while the Olympic champions also joined forces with Ellie Dickinson and Neah Evans to perfect effect in the team pursuit.
Laura’s husband Jason wasn’t to have the same fortune however, as his much-anticipated London return ended without reward.
The Farnworth sprint king was making his Lee Valley VeloPark comeback six years after his sparkling double Olympic gold, the scene of some of his greatest moments on two wheels.
But while the memories remained the performances didn’t this time around in London, falling at the 1/8 stage of the individual sprint having looked in good touch in qualifying on the final day.
“I’m obviously disappointed. I wanted to try and get as much racing in as possible so to only get two in is not ideal but that’s just where I’m at at the minute. I can’t complain,” he said.
“Tokyo 2020 is the ultimate goal, but I would have liked to have been better here. It’s just one of those things. It’s a stepping stone, we’re on that road and hopefully we’ll get to that point where we’re right at the sharp end eventually.
“It’s tricky really. I felt good on the track but just seemed to run out of horse-power at the crucial moment so it’s something to work on. Go home, get back to work, get faster, get stronger hopefully and move up the field.”
The next TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup on UK boards takes place at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow from 8-10 November 2019. Sign up now at bit.ly/NextStopGlasgow to access tickets before they go on sale to the general public