Laura Kenny has emerged from Glasgow with renewed confidence that she can still compete at the highest level despite missing out on a hat-trick of gold medals at the European Championships.
Barely a year on from giving birth to her first child, Albie, Kenny was back in action at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and proving she is still one of the best track cyclists around.
She won gold in the team pursuit and elimination races earlier in the week but could not make it a clean sweep after she and Katie Archibald finished fourth in the final of the madison.
The pair had looked well placed at the halfway stage, but Denmark stormed clear after taking a lap with Russia, leaving Great Britain unable to reel them in and having to settle for fourth place.
Despite that, Kenny was happy with she had performed in Glasgow having only made her comeback in March.
“I think they (the championships) have moved me on,” the four-time Olympic gold medallist said.
“I wouldn’t have known where I was if I hadn’t put it on the line.
“I think it was always going to be hard as everybody expects me to win even though I had a baby a year ago, but I am glad I put it on the line because it has given me confidence and hopefully it will be an upwards slope from here.”
“We made a lot of mistakes and in events like that you can’t do that,” she admitted. “You’re on the back foot from the word go, and once we let that group go we weren’t ever going to get back.
“I think it’s promising in a way that we have stuff to work on still.
“If you do as badly in that ride as we did, then we have places to improve and hopefully next time we will be on the podium.”
There was some success on the final afternoon of the track cycling in Glasgow however, with Matthew Walls stunning the field to claim gold in the men’s elimination race, before Jack Carlin took bronze in the men’s keirin.
The 20-year-old Walls was happy to lead from the front throughout the race and did not let up in his pace, eventually storming home for a comfortable victory over Portugal’s Rui Olivieira.
It left the Oldham-born rider to describe it as the best moment of his fledgling career.
“It’s at the top,” he admitted. “It’s my first major championships and to get the win is just mega, I’m really happy with it.”