New mum Laura Kenny reveals Ennis-Hill advice ahead of track return

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Laura Kenny revealed she has been taking tips from Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill as she returns to competitive cycling just six months after giving birth.

The four-time Olympic champion is due to make her comeback sooner than expected having been named in the Great Britain squad for the Track Cycling World Championships, which start on February 28 in Apeldoorn, Holland.

With husband and six-time Olympic champion Jason also in the squad, baby Albie will be travelling too as cycling’s golden couple adjust to juggling parenthood with elite competition.

What a difference a year makes ❤️??

A post shared by Laura Kenny (@laurakenny31) on

“She’s been there on the end of the phone and that’s been great, to have that kind of support,” Kenny said.

“My body has gone through something it has never been through before and you don’t know how you’re going to feel until you go through it. Obviously to have Jess there, having done it and having been quite open with questions I can ask her, has been really helpful.”

Laura Kenny attends Wimbledon last summer with husband Jason
Laura Kenny attends Wimbledon last summer with husband Jason (John Walton/PA)

“She’s told me just to take it slowly,” said Kenny.

“The thing that was key was just forgetting how I felt before and not rushing straight back to that point.

“Our programme is very power-based, everything we do is recorded, and I could see my power numbers on a daily basis. It’s about forgetting that because I was chasing numbers that were pre-Rio (the 2016 Olympics) and I’m not even there now, so I couldn’t expect to be there straight away.”

“Initially it seemed quite a slow process, six weeks to get back on a bike,” she said.

“But after that it came back pretty quick. I think it was more a confidence thing just to put myself into an effort, but once I was in an effort I felt like myself again.”

While Kenny insists she is going to Apeldoorn with no pressure on her shoulders, the seven-time world champion will not simply be going through the motions.

“Like every race you enter, you go there because you want to win,” she said.

Laura Kenny (third from left) celebrates Olympic gold at Rio 2016 in the team pursuit
Laura Kenny (third from left) celebrates Olympic gold at Rio 2016 in the team pursuit (David Davies/PA)

Kenny points out she must still actually earn selection to ride in the team pursuit – the only event for which she is eligible due to her lack of recent racing – with competition fierce.

Katie Archibald, Elinor Barker, Ellie Dickinson, Emily Kay, Emily Nelson and Kenny are in the six-strong endurance squad, but only four will ride in the team pursuit.

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