Jason Kenny is considered by many to be one of the greatest cyclists in world right now. An Olympic and World Champion in the Team Sprint event, Kenny came of age last year by winning gold in the individual sprint at the UCI Track World Championships. After defeating the legendary Sir Chris Hoy, Kenny announced himself as the future of British cycling.
Here are his thoughts on the upcoming World Cup, being held at London's brand new Velodrome.
How will 'Champion of the world' feel on Thursday, when you get presentation?
"I'm not sure to be honest with you. Obviously, it'll be special, racing in it come Sunday. It doesn't really change anything as far as we're concerned now. We're so close to the World Championships and that's our main focus now. We're deep in our preparations. It'll be special to wear and hopefully I'll be at the sharp end in the sprint, but we just have to wait and see."
Do you feel more confident in training?
"It doesn't really change much. I'm hoping it'll feel special - I've never worn one before, so I'm not totally sure. I'm not sure what the presentation's going to entail on Thursday, so we'll just have to wait and see."
Do you normally room with Chris Hoy?
"We don't tend to think about it. It goes on what races you're doing more than anything. So if someone's got an early morning, it's easier if you've both got an early morning, really. So I've ended up sharing with Chris. I do share with him quite often because we do a lot of the same races."
Is this weekend make or break, considering eventual Olympic selection comes down to performance at the world championships?
"I think every race is important.There are two major ones, aren't there. There's this one and then the World Championships, so it's obviously very important. It's not long to the Olympics, five-six months, something like that. So it's all quite important. This is obviously a big one, being on the same track as well. That'll be interesting to see what happens."
Do you and Chris talk shop when rooming together?
"I've never thought about it, to be honest with you. We just talk about anything, really. It doesn't really matter.It's only racing at the end of the day. We've yet to fall out over it - well, majorly anyway. It happens on the track and everyone gets a bit flustered and then it's all forgotten about afterwards, which I think's the way it's got to be. It's only bike racing at the end of the day."
You're also colleagues in the team sprint...
"Exactly, and the team sprint's one of main focuses - being a time-trial kind of race that we have the most control over. Obviously, that's the one that we tend to focus on in training. We are team-mates above all else."
How's your form heading into the World Cup?
"Yeah, not bad. It's coming back now. We had a good training camp in Perth in December and I've just been working hard since then. So, hopefully, I'm starting to get a bit more pure speed back after a pretty slow start to the year, to be fair. So, I'm pretty happy with where I am now and hopefully I'll be at the sharp end in the sprint."
You've arguably had a slow start to 2012, is there any particular reason for it?
"I was just going rubbish - I don't know why. I really don't know why. Everyone has phases, I guess, down bits, where everything slips away from you and there's not a lot you can do about it. So it was good to get to Perth. I kind of felt like I was surviving a bit at home and trying to get to that training camp so I could get back on it, which is what happened, really. So, yeah, I just tried to keep that momentum going."
Do you relish racing more? You seem to be able to lift your performance at big events...
"Maybe a little bit. The thing is, you have to lift your performance when you're going rubbish every day, don't you? So, I would say that's more the case. I'm always hoping for a miracle, as opposed to someone like Chris, who always seems to be going quite well every day of the week."
He's very consistent...
"He is. It's good to have someone like that in the team, because you're always comparing yourself to someone that is probably top five in the world any day of the week. So you always get a good gauge about how you're going in the training sessions when Chris is there."
How do you feel about the team dynamic with Ross - quite excited by combinations?
"Yeah, I am. If I had to pick, I do prefer riding in Man Two. The thing is, when I'm going well, I'll ride anywhere. But Man One's quite a hard place to be when you're kind of suffering a bit because the time everyone can see on the board. Ross has shown some really good times there, to be fair, and I think he's coming back from a little bit of an injury now. But he's showing a bit more potential again to step up and put a good time in. So, hopefully, that'll put us in a good spot."
Are you worried about the threat of the Germans and French?
"Not really, because there's not a lot we can do about that. We have been there in the past, so there's no reason we can't get there again. Obviously, the German guys have stepped up and smashed it recently. But, like I said, there's not an awful lot we can do about that except working away and trying to get quicker, which is what we need to do. We need to find a lot of time."
Will your performance this week alter your preparations for the world championships?
"Maybe not for the World Champs, because there's not an awful lot you can do in a month. It's kind of putting the icing on the cake, so hopefully we're 99% of the way there for that one. As far as the Olympics goes, I've no idea. You get to the World Champs and re-evaluate again, I guess, on the best way to go forward. Always working on your weaknesses, I think, is the way we tend to do it."
Will you be using this week as a taster for the atmosphere for the Olympics?
"Maybe a little bit. It'll be nice this weekend. I'm looking forward to seeing what it's like full. We've only ever seen it empty - we saw it as a building site first. Now we've just seen it empty for the odd training session. So, I'm looking forward to experiencing it absolutely packed."
What are your thoughts on the new track?
"It feels nice. It's nice and smooth. It's a similar shape to Manchester and even closer to Newport, I think. But we did a training session yesterday and it seemed fairly quick. It's always a bit hard to tell because there are always other people on the track at World Cup training sessions, which does help you a little bit. But, yeah, it seems reasonably quick. So, hopefully, it'll produce some quick times and some good racing, I think, more importantly."