Laura Trott admits to being “annoyed and frustrated” at seeing Great Britain’s cycling success at the Olympics questioned by rivals.
GB cyclists claimed six golds, four silvers and one bronze at the velodrome in Rio to follow up a similarly impressive haul on home soil four years ago.
With Britain’s overwhelming dominance at recent Olympic Games being in contrast to some of their performances at other major events, several rival teams publicly wondered just what was going on.
The veiled accusations that something amiss might be taking place has offended the likes of British Cycling head coach Iain Dyer, and Trott admits she is also frustrated.
The 24-year-old, who won two golds in Rio to match her haul from London 2012, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “[I’m] not angry as such, it is a little bit annoying and frustrating because it is a lot of hard work that has gone into that performance.
“British Cycling has always been an Olympics-based programme, so for us it wasn’t about clearing up at the World Championships [in March of this year]. Don’t get me wrong, it would have been nice because they were in London, but it’s always been around the Olympics. That’s what our funding is pushed towards, that’s where they spent our UK Sport money. So for us it was about performing there and I think if we’d come away and under-performed at the Olympics, we’d have been gutted if we’d cleaned up at London because it would have meant we’d have peaked at the wrong time.
“And I think what a lot of other nations don’t know, and what they don’t see, is the fact that it doesn’t really matter about the World Championships. It’s all about the Olympics.”
Trott’s fiance Jason Kenny was another member of GB’s all-conquering cycling team this summer and he took his collection of Olympic gold medals to six having also also tasted success in Beijing and London.
Between them, Trott and Kenny won five gold medals in Brazil and find themselves at the centre of attention following their return to the United Kingdom.
Both riders admit to being stunned by the reception they have received since coming home.
Trott said: “It’s just been incredible. Without the public support, we couldn’t have done it without them. It’s been absolutely phenomenal to come back and see how many people there are there supporting you.
“Being at the Olympics is really weird, it almost feels like a Big Brother house, you’re kind of isolated from the outside world. You don’t really feel like anybody’s caring, so to land back and at Manchester it was ‘Wow, people really do care about this’.
Kenny added: “It’s true, you have no idea what’s going on at home, so to come home and see the buzz that everyone’s got about it is really special.”
Looking to the future, Trott says she hopes the couple’s wedding takes place “in the near future”, while telling ITV’s Good Morning Britain she will be changing her name to Laura Kenny once they are married.
Starting a family is also in the pipeline, although Trott says that is not in the plans before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Trott caused a stir on social media earlier this month when she Tweeted “Our kids have to get some of these genes right?!”, but she wishes she had not posted that now.
On starting a family, she said: “Not before the next Olympics. I’m sort of regretting tweeting that now. At the time I thought it was funny and now everybody’s like, ‘Are you having kids?’. We would like kids obviously but when that happens I don’t know. I think it would be hard to juggle a cycling career with a child to be totally honest.”
Kenny, 28, told the BBC: “Like most things in our relationship, I don’t really have much of say in that, it’s down to Laura that one!
“I’d certainly like kids in the future at some point, obviously we’ve got to get married first. Our basic plan of action is to get married first, obviously that might be taken out of our control if we do have kids in the meantime...”