Laura Kenny joined by husband Jason on increasingly star-studded Six Day Manchester start list

Laura Kenny joined by husband Jason on increasingly star-studded Six Day Manchester start list
By Eurosport

13/03/2019 at 20:36Updated 13/03/2019 at 21:55

Jason Kenny, Great Britain’s six-time Olympic champion, has confirmed he will compete at the inaugural Six Day Manchester.

Kenny will join wife Laura on the start-line of the international track series, hosted at the National Cycling Centre in Manchester between 22-24 March.

Jason and Laura Kenny are familiar with racing together – with Britain’s golden couple cheering each other to glory in one of the defining moments of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

But come March 22 the duo will help make history as the Six Day Series heads to their home track of Manchester for the first time – with the three-day event also marking the first of the Series in which they have both competed.

While Laura’s experience of the unique event - which combines bikes and beats with a live DJ centre track throughout the races - has only come from the TV thus far, Jason is no stranger to racing when the lights are down and the music is turned up.

Great Britain’s most successful Olympian competed at Six Day Rotterdam in 2013, coming agonisingly close to victory before being pipped by Sir Chris Hoy – the only other British Olympian to have six gold medals – by just one point in the sprint contest.

Six years on and Kenny is back for more – only this time with a partisan home crowd cheering him all the way. And, in a statement released by Six Day, he said:

" The Six Day series is a really unique event for both riders and fans - the atmosphere is like nothing else and I am really pleased to be competing at the first ever Six Day event in Manchester next week. Manchester is home and riding in front of a packed local crowd will be really exciting. There’s a hugely competitive line up and in the men’s and women’s field and this will be a bit of a family affair for us with Laura also competing in her first ever Six Day. We are both really looking forward to the event and hope the Manchester crowd get behind it next weekend."

Born in Farnworth, Kenny is Mancunian through and through, and with his home track just a stone’s throw away from where he grew up, he is a sprinter that could take the roof off the velodrome.

And it wouldn’t be the first time at the National Cycling Centre. The 30-year-old and Manchester have become a match made in heaven for more than a decade, winning two Track World Cup titles and three medals in all at the 2008 event.

Those honours came in the same year in which he became a double Olympic champion, going from strength to strength since bagging two medals at Beijing 2008.

Two Games and five golds later and Kenny has taken himself into the pantheon of global sporting greats – with three world titles also adding to a busy collection.

A cycling hiatus following his triple-medal haul at Rio 2016 – a hat-trick that took the husband-and-wife pair to a perfect ten Olympic titles in all – but Jason is now back and ready to embrace a plethora of new challenges on and off the bike.

Riding in a Six Day on home soil was certainly high on that list, so too for wife and Britain’s most successful female Olympian Laura Kenny, who started her preparations at the National Cycling Centre on Wednesday with just over a week until the event.

" I’m really excited to take part in my first ever Six Day event, especially in Manchester. When I was pregnant I got to watch Six Day in London and it was one of few events that I was really sad to miss, so I’m really excited to have the opportunity to compete this year."
" Six Day has a really fun atmosphere and that is something that riders enjoy just as much as the fans. On the back of the World Championships I’m really excited to get back out on the track - the women’s line-up is so strong at Six Day Manchester with Kirsten (Wild), Elinor (Barker) and Katie (Archibald) so it’s a good opportunity for me. It’s also turning into a very family focused event with Elinor and Megan (Barker) competing and now Jason (Kenny) joining the men’s elite - it will be nice to compete together, especially at my first Six Day in our home venue."

In addition to Jason Kenny, the men’s elite line-up was bolstered further this week with confirmation that three-time Olympic medallist, Steven Burke, will also compete in the first Six Day event in Manchester. Burke represented Britain at the 2008 Summer Olympics, beating his pre-Olympics personal best in the individual pursuit by 11 seconds to take the bronze medal. In 2012, Burke was part of the Great Britain team that won the Olympic and World championships in the Team Pursuit discipline. Burke was also part of the GB team that retained the team pursuit title at the 2016 Olympics.

Quotes and copy courtesy of Six Day Media.