AFTER a successful winter on the track, Bromsgrove cyclist Emily Kay is relishing the opportunity to race alongside Olympic and world champion Katie Archibald both internationally and for her professional team.
The 21-year-old helped Great Britain to a fifth-place finish in the team pursuit at last month’s World Championships, taking over from her new teammate as the Olympic champions went their separate ways.
Laura Kenny is currently taking time out to have a baby, Joanna Rowsell Shand has retired, and Archibald and Elinor Barker have taken a break from the event to concentrate in individual bunch races.
But while the new quartet may be inexperienced, they posted an impressive time to finish fifth in Hong Kong, with Kay now looking ahead to her road season for new outfit Team WNT.
“I’ve progressed from last season, I’m now on the podium program with British Cycling and I’ve gone from the domestic Team Breeze to WNT – a UCI Women’s team – so it gives me an opportunity to do new races at a high level of racing,” she said, speaking at the launch of Season 15 of the Revolution Track Cycling Series.
“I’ve got great teammates too, obviously Katie Archibald who is Olympic and world champion, also Irish riders in that team who are track riders too.
“Riding with Katie is great – she’s really down to earth and does not come across as someone who has won Olympic titles, she’s always got time for you the whole time.
“She’s great to learn from, to watch her train, to watch her race – tactically to watch her race is great.
“She’s incredibly strong and I’m really excited to be her teammate, to race alongside her, to learn from her and watch what she does.”
Kay, who won her maiden World Cup gold medal in the team pursuit last year, in Glasgow, has been joined in a young squad by Manon Lloyd, Ellie Dickinson and Emily Nelson, and she hopes the quartet can continue their swift progress with one season already gone on the road to Tokyo 2020.
“As a group of girls, we’re always striving to be better and we’re always wanting more,” she added.
“There’s obviously Ellie Dickinson, who has just come out of juniors and she just stepped straight into the team and held her own and did a great job.
“Emily Nelson is becoming one of the biggest track riders in the world.
“She won silver in the Madison at the worlds with Elinor Barker.
“She’s a really strong rider and a key element of the team.
“Manon Lloyd has not been in cycling very long, she came into cycling very late but she’s just got stronger and stronger.
“She’s a great team mate.
“What’s great about the team is that we can all do a lot of things.”
See the world’s best road teams take on the champions of the track in the Revolution Track Cycling Series.
Tickets now on sale at http://cyclingrevolution.eventbrite.com.