To appreciate how good Trott is, you need to understand the mystery of the Omnium. It’s like a cycling equivalent of athletics’ heptathlon, and Trott, 24, is Jess Ennis-Hill in her pomp.
The event is divided into six parts: the Scratch race, basically the first over the line in a 10km race; the Individual Pursuit over 3km; the Elimination race, where every two laps, the last placed rider is eliminated until only one remains; the Time Trial over 500m; the Flying lap, which sees each rider sprint for 200m to the line once they are up to speed; and the Points race over 25km, where intermediate sprints and lapping the opposition all mean points. To win an Omnium, you must be a sprinter, with endurance, who is tactically strong enough to keep an eye on opponents.
Not only did Trott win it in 2012, she repeated the feat in 2016. AND she took home gold as part of
the Team Pursuit. All while continuing with her career as a road cyclist with the Matrix Fitness Pro Cycling team.
What makes her achievements all the more astonishing is that she is minute by common cycling standards – 5ft 4in, weighing around 52kg – yet her power output is enormous, peaking at around 1,000W, which is enough to power eight 42in HDTVs.
And then there’s the ‘human’ factor. It’s easy for the cynics to scoff at the notion of her and her husband, fellow track cyclist Jason Kenny sitting smugly at home with their two Sproodles counting their medals, but the reality is she is properly girl-next-door normal. She was in bits trackside when Kenny won his gold, and is content to go off on her honeymoon in a campervan for a month rather than some 5* gated complex in Dubai. So to the knockers: back off, she’s a worthy velo GOAT.