British Cycling’s Head coach Iain Dyer is excited about his young squad
Britain’s golden girl is missing the World Track Championships because she is expecting her first child with husband Jason, the six-time Olympic champion.
Kenny tweeted about her pregnancy blues – apologising to the driver whose car she threw-up over – as those aiming to follow in her wheel tracks were completing their final preparations in the 3,000-seater velodrome.
It has been a torrid time for Britain’s most successful sport since they dominated on the track at the Olympic Games in Rio last summer, winning six of the 10 golds on offer and 11 medals in all.
Cycling has since become embroiled in a review into its culture amid claims from former top-level riders of bullying, sexism and a medal at all costs attitude.
The report, which has already been leaked, is expected to be damning when finally released, while management have already implemented a 39-point improvement plan.
Jason and Laura Kenny are both out of action with impending parenthood
Then there is the ‘Jiffygate’ scandal which has erupted around Team Sky and the contents of a medical package delivered to Bradley Wiggins at a race in France in 2011.
These worlds will be the first major championships since the scandals broke and offer an opportunity for a new generation of riders to make their mark and usurp those opting to skip the post-Games event.
Wiggins, of course, has retired to a life of reality shows and car adverts since leading the team pursuit squad to the gold medal in his Games swansong.
Joanna Rowsell Shand, who was part of the world record breaking women’s team pursuit quartet, has also hung up her racing shoes.
The Kennys are both preparing for parenthood while the likes of Becky James and Phil Hindes are taking post Games breaks and Mark Cavendish is back focusing on the Tour de France after finally breaking his Olympic duck.
Olympics 2016: Team GB Winners Mon, August 22, 2016
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The Team GB Olympic medal winners so far from Rio 2016
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Mo Farah's triumphed in a staggering 10,000m gold medal run that even included a stumble
Britain’s 19-strong squad for the five-day event, though, still has four Olympic champions in Callum Skinner, Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker and Steve Burke.
Archibald and Barker, who made up the fantastic four in the team pursuit with Kenny and Rowsell Shand, will look to make their mark in individual events, as the countdown to the Olympics in 2020 starts.
British Cycling’s Head coach Iain Dyer said: “Tokyo is very much within our sights. It’s a young squad and anyone has the chance to unseat someone more senior.
“I think that’s true for anyone who is having a little bit of time out post-Rio or having a baby, whatever their plans might be.
“They’re all here are looking to make their own mark. Laura has ruled the roost in the omnium in the past but Katie and Elinor are pretty good bunch race riders in their own right, as we’ve all seen.”
The contents of a medical package delivered to Sir Bradley Wiggins came under investigation
Archibald, 23, is focussing on the new-look omnium, where four-time Games gold medallist Kenny is the reigning world champion from London last year, as well as the individual pursuit.
And Archibald, from Milngavie near Glasgow, said: “Myself and Elinor have somehow been thrust into the position of being the elders, aged 22 and 23. It’s daunting.
“It’s a fairly obvious truth that Laura is Olympic and world champion. You’ve got to expect that if she had continued training she would have had the form to make that selection.
“I feel privileged to have the spot.”
Britain will be led for the first time by new Performance Director Stephen Park, while one of the men he beat to the job, Simon Jones, begins life as head of Cycling Australia with the aim of knocking his former charges off their perch.
Former GB coach Jones, 47, said: “We both want the same thing. But there’s only going to be one world-leading nation.”