The very nature of track cycling means things often come full circle in the sport but there is a pleasing symmetry to the fact that Jason Kenny will return to competition at the Manchester leg of the Revolution Series – where his career began.
The boards of the National Cycling Centre saw Kenny race on the world stage for the first time in the Future Stars event, the junior competition, in the very first Revolution Series back in 2003.
Now, to celebrate its 15th season, Revolution welcomes the Bolton-born sprinter back with open arms as he competes for the first time since the Rio Olympics.
Since that first Revolution, Kenny has claimed six Olympic golds and three world titles and the 29-year-old believes those early races helped shape the rider he has become.
“I was massively nervous as a Future Star,” he admits. “Up until that point I’d only ever raced in front of my parents basically - and a few others.
“So to race in front of a full house was just insane. The noise was ridiculous but it was really important because it sets you up for things later down the line.
“Your big moments in track cycling are going to be in front of the crowd, in front of the cameras, so it’s really good exposure for the Future Stars.
“The younger riders come and experience that and get used to it because it is different to the racing you do when you’re younger.”
After taking a deserved break to spend time with wife and fellow Olympic champion Laura and their baby son Albert, Kenny began training again earlier this year.
He will take to the boards of his home track in Manchester on January 6 as one of the more experienced riders in the field, but Kenny is the first to acknowledge that this was not always the case.
“For my first Revolution, I remember not really understanding much about tactics and bunches and it was quite a big bunch, not something I was used to,” he recalled.
“I couldn’t get my head around getting in a good position for the sprint at the end so I just thought ‘sod it’ and went early - with six laps to go.
“I dangled off the front right until the end but I did it a few times and I actually won one.
“The crowd loves someone who attacks, so they get behind you and the noise carried me home – it was my first experience of hearing that cheer.
“That was one of my first Revolution experiences and I’ve carried it forwards into the rest of my career.”