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British great Hoy tips Kennys to win world track medals

44   //    27 Feb 2018, 18:11 IST

Apeldoorn (Netherlands), Feb 27, (AFP) Husband and wife Olympic cycling champions Jason and Laura Kenny will make their return to international competition at the World Track Cycling Championships this week and former British cyclist Chris Hoy believes they can win medals.

After winning five Olympic gold medals between them in Rio in 2016, the couple got married and took 2017 off to start a family.

And Hoy, whose British record of six Olympic gold medals Jason Kenny matched with a triple victory in Brazil, told AFP that while they won't dominate as before, they are both capable of going home from Apeldoorn in the Netherlands with something tangible.

"I think Jason will medal in the team sprint, although they (Britain) are not by any stretch of the imagination assured to medal, so if they get a bronze it will be a great result," Hoy told AFP from Monaco, where he was attending the Laureus Awards.

"Jason has kept ticking it over and was still riding his bike but wasn't riding flat out.

"He just seems to have come back with rejuvenated enthusiasm for his sport and that is the perfect way to do it. If he had kept racing, I think he would have definitely chucked it in."

Kenny won three gold medals -- in the individual sprint, team sprint and keirin -- at both the 2012 and 2016 Games.

His wife, then racing under the name Laura Trott, won two gold medals at both of those Games -- in the omnium and team pursuit.

While Kenny, who is part of the men's sprint team, is an out-and-out sprinter, his wife is an endurance athlete and has been picked in the team pursuit squad.

But Hoy said she is far from guaranteed to be picked for the actual competition.

'Always delivered'


"She's good enough to be in the team (and) the team is always good enough to win," said Hoy, a Laureus Academy member.

"She has always delivered for the team through thick and thin in the last few years. If she makes the team, they could win it.

"I wouldn't be surprised to see both (Kennys) with medals after next weekend."

Britain have dominated track cycling at the last three Olympics, winning more than half the gold medals on offer at each.

But they rarely prove so all-conquering at the world championships.

Three years ago in France, they failed to win a single gold medal, while last year they managed only two.

Hoy believes Katie Archibald, an Olympic gold medallist alongside Laura Kenny in the team pursuit in Rio, will ensure Britain come home with some gold medals.

"Katie Archibald will be a standout performer, the women's endurance team will be standout performers," he said.

"I think it will be a consistent performance (from Britain), it won't be exceptional and they won't dominate, but they will be in the three top teams."

- Generational battle -


The worlds are set to produce a battle of the generations and the host nation has high hopes of success.

In the men's keirin, 25-year-old Dutchman Matthijs Buchli will try to go one better than the silver he won in Rio, although French veteran Francois Pervis, 33, is aiming for a third world title in the discipline.

"Of course I'm dreaming of shining at home but there's ferocious competition," said Buchli, a winner of three World Cup events this year.

For traditional powerhouses France, much is expected of 20-year Sebastien Vigier, one of the favourites for individual sprint gold.

"I'll be disappointed if I don't climb onto the podium," said the European champion

Press Trust of India (PTI) is a news agency in India
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