Sitting across from Laura Trott, I momentarily forget she is a double Olympic Champion and arguably the greatest track cyclist in the world at present. In the flesh, Trott is like any other girl in her early 20s – girly, giggly and head over heels in love with her boyfriend, fellow Olympic gold medallist Jason Kenny.
In her down time, she likes to read autobiographies, chow down on Malteesers and walk her dogs. She is refreshingly down to earth and completely endearing despite the fact her entire life was thrust into the public eye after her success at London 2012.
“It all happened overnight. I won the Omnium so I was in the limelight a bit, people wanted to know about me personally but then the thing with me and my boyfriend (Jason Kenny) came out and literally that night my agent called me at 2am and told me to look at the internet. There were so many pictures and stories. Some of the stories that people had made up were shocking. And for me it took me by surprise,” recalls Trott.
“Everybody said London 2012 would change my life, especially if I won big but I didn’t even want to think about whether I was going to win or not. For me the 8 August (race day) was the end of the world. So then after, it was all a bit of a shock.
I don’t mind people knowing about my stories but it did upset me a bit, about me and Jason. Just getting used to I guess. But now I can see why people are so interested, we had just won two gold medals, it was a massive story. When I did get used to it, it was fine but initially I was like WOW this is my life not public property,” she continues.
To come back after such success can be a challenge for athletes. Trott took just ten days off before she got back to training again: “Unlike athletics, ours (World Championships) are every year so we have to come back quick and try and get that form back as people now expect you to win big,” explains Trott.
Throughout my time with Trott I am surprised at how she seems to take everything in her stride. Clearly her success has taken enormous dedication and sacrifice: “I developed quite young so my school took a hit. I could never go to my school prom, leaving parties, then in 6th form there would be a party every season – like a Christmas one, a Halloween one and I didn’t go to a single one because the next morning I had to get up and train,” explains Trott.
“I feel guilty if I don’t give 100% in training so for me, if I have got a hangover the next day that training session is wasted, and then it can be two or three training sessions that you don’t feel good for and I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want to waste any of them,” she continues.
Winning is something Trott has become accustomed to both on and off the bike and it seems it has resulted in some good natured banter among her Wiggle Honda teammates: “We have had to do a few fun competitions while we are here (in Italy for the Wiggle Honda training camp) to help out our sponsors. One of them was for Adidas to see who could jump the highest and another was to see who could change a tube the quickest. My sister was texting me yesterday saying that she had heard that the girls wanted to beat me at something and she was like ‘I have had to put up with this my whole life, and they can’t even put up with it for a week,’” she giggles.
Despite the abundance of laughter throughout the interview it is clear to see that Trott is ready for her next big event and will no doubt take it on with gusto. Fresh off the back of success at the World Track Championships in Cali and her clean sweep in the Omnium at the finale of the Revolution Series at Lee Valley, Trott’s next big undertaking will be The Women’s Tour.
“I think the Women’s Tour is going to be amazing. There was talk this year about a women’s Tour De France but I think for Britain to come together and put on a race for us is fantastic. It is really going to help to promote women’s cycling in Britain as well which for me is very important,” says Laura.
Tipped as one of the biggest International women’s races in the 2014 calendar, all eyes will be on the Wiggle Honda dream team at the event. So far, five of the six riders have been selected. It is no surprise that British riders Joanna Rowsell and Dani King have made the cut. Alongside them will be world class sprinter Georgia Bronzini of Italy and Linda Villumsen of Denmark. I have no doubt that team manager Rochelle Gilmore has a bullet proof strategy under her belt, what does remain to be seen is whether that strategy involves Laura Trott on the podium.
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