Commonwealth Games 2014: ‘I live a normal life. We walk the dogs, see his family...’ says Laura Trott about boyfriend Jason Kenny

All is well in the world of English cycling’s golden couple but Trott and Kenny go to the Commomnwealths in very different form

The thing about honesty is that the words will keep being quoted back at you. British cycling’s golden couple, Jason Kenny and Laura Trott, gave an interview in which they pointed out that, however nice the Commonwealth Games were, they wouldn’t “actually pay the bills”.

That was two months ago and now, with the opening ceremony in Glasgow a couple of days away, Kenny’s observations are repackaged and presented back to him.

“It is becoming a bigger deal as we get nearer,” he says. “But when we said the programme isn’t funded for the Commonwealth Games, that was right. It is funded for the Olympics. That’s just the truth.”

Kenny is sitting by the track at Manchester Velodrome before setting off for Scotland with the rest of the England team. The irony is not lost on him that but for Manchester’s staging of the Commonwealth Games in 2002, the boy from Bolton would probably have come nowhere near an Olympic medal. The velodrome was the first stage on which a teenage Kenny showed the ability that was to lead to gold medals at two Olympics.

“No, I wouldn’t be here without it,” he remarks as the bikes raced by on the surface of polished Siberian pine. “I am only here because of the velodrome and the velodrome was only built as part of the bid. I wouldn’t be cycling today without this building.”

If the life of an elite athlete is surreal, the life of two elite athletes living together must be even more so. “I wouldn’t go on nights out and I guess as a kid I missed out on the school proms,” says Trott. “But I wouldn’t say I don’t live a normal life. Me and Jason walk our dogs, see his family and go out for meals.

“I do enough to think my outside life isn’t totally cycling-obsessed but there are days like Sundays, which are our rest days, when we literally lie on the sofa all day.”

The pair go to Glasgow in slightly different moods. For Kenny, like most of the British men’s team, the World Championships in March were barren. Trott, at least, returned home from Colombia with a gold in the team pursuit.

“It’s more fingers crossed than anything else at the moment,” says Kenny, 26. “We’re looking to bounce back from the Worlds and find some form but I am in good place. I’ve had to gain a bit of weight and find some strength because the landscape’s changing a bit in sprint racing. A lot of big guys are winning races now and I have to step up and match that. I was fifth at the Worlds and everyone in front of me was bigger – the average was 10 kilos. Since the World Championships, I’ve gained four kilos. This is the heaviest I have been.”

It was her mother’s desire to lose weight that led Trott, 22, to join her on the track at Welwyn Garden City and begin the journey that has led her to Glasgow. Having nearly burnt down her flat in Manchester while trying to bake a potato, she is unlikely to be of much use to Kenny when it comes to bulking up.

The four-year age gap between the pair sounds like nothing much but it means Kenny is targeting gold at a third Olympics. His heroes are those, like Steve Redgrave and Chris Hoy, who have won and remained on the summit – more difficult than scaling the peak in the first place.

“When I won in Beijing, I wouldn’t say it was easy but it was easy compared to London,” he reflects. “When you go through a full four-year cycle, having won in the first place, and you get beaten, you have to dig yourself out of that hole and then get yourself back to the front, and that’s tough. There is always an 18- or 19-year-old coming through, like I was in Beijing.”

Trott’s last high-profile event was the Tour of Britain that put her in hospital in Clacton suffering from concussion after falling on her head. It is part of her make-up that she is an aggressive, often fearless rider. “There are things that do frighten me, like spiders,” she laughs. “But I had an older sister and as a kid I wanted to do everything my sister did.

“I actually did lose my confidence once. It was in 2009. I was riding really slowly around the banking in the weeks before the Nationals and I crashed. I rode too slowly, not even around the track but at the bottom of the black line, and I fell off. After that, I couldn’t physically get back on to the track.”

She needed the help of Simon Cope, now the British team’s endurance coach, to recover her confidence.

“This year, I’ve had quite a lot of crashes,” she says. “I crashed at the Europeans. That was stupid. It was my own fault because I shouldn’t have been there. I was at the back of the elimination race and there was not enough room. I dived underneath and by the time I got round to the back straight I fell off and took a Russian girl with me.

“You just get back up. Crashes are part of  the sport.”

Arts and Entertainment
Joe Cocker performing on the Stravinski hall stage during the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Montreux, Switzerland in 2002
musicHe 'turned my song into an anthem', says former Beatle
Clarke Carlisle
footballStoke City vs Chelsea match report
Arts and Entertainment
David Hasselhof in Peter Pan
theatreThe US stars who've taken to UK panto, from Hasselhoff to Hall
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Approaching sale shopping in a smart way means that you’ll get the most out of your money
life + styleSales shopping tips and tricks from the experts
newsIt was due to be auctioned off for charity
Life and Style
A still from a scene cut from The Interview showing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's death.
Sir David Attenborough
environment... as well as a plant and a spider
'That's the legal bit done. Now on to the ceremony!'
voicesThe fight for marriage equality isn't over yet, says Siobhan Fenton
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Regulatory / Compliance / Exeter

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Technician - 12 Month Fixed Term - Shrewsbury

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...

The Jenrick Group: Maintenance Planner

£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...

The Jenrick Group: World Wide PLC Service Engineer

£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'