JASON Kenny says all eyes are on improvements in the team sprint as the Bolton cycling superstar looks to bounce back from a poor showing at the World Championships.

The six-time Olympic gold medallist put the disappointment of Poland behind him with a solid performance in the first Manchester Six Day at the weekend.

Kenny was pipped to the top of the podium by rising Great Britain star Jack Carlin, losing in two sprint finals as the young Scot took the inaugural title.

But the Farnworth man said while Six Day had been a welcome distraction, the real business on the track was regaining the upper hand in the team sprint discipline after going out in the first round in Pruszków.

He said: “We need to get our head around the team sprint. We’ve had some good results this year, but we didn’t get our best result at the World Championships.

“It was disappointing, and we need to make sure we nail it next year, build up the pace but also get a bit more consistent.

“After that, we have to work hard in the individuals and make sure we qualify for the World Championships. My goal is to hopefully be in one of those spots.”

Kenny looked relaxed as he and his wife, Laura, proved a major draw for the crowds at the National Cycling Centre.

Despite being pipped at the line by Carlin, Kenny said was happy to lay down a marker for his own performances and take plenty away.

He said: “I’ve learned a lot and it’s just been a good opportunity for me to come racing.

“It’s not the best preparation, not the best recovery so it’s a good test of resilience. I’m quite happy with how even it was across the weekend.

“It’s magic. It transforms it, it really does. These events are great for us. You can’t really replicate it in training. You can put all the kit on but it’s not the same until you get up there, put the kit on and have the crowd cheering your name.

“When you go out and expend energy, it’s important to come away having gained something. I do think I’ve learned a lot.”

Six Day was also a success for another Bolton racer, Matt Rotherham, who made it a GB one-two-three in the sprint.

He finished third behind Kenny and Carlin, and the 24-year-old former Canon Slade pupil, a regular on a hugely successful tandem with Paralympian Neil Fachie, hailed the strength in depth of British cycling after edging out German stalwart Max Levy to secure a podium placing.

“We have some of the world’s best sprinters and when it comes to the Olympics you’ll really see that,” said Rotherham.

“We were all in pretty good form, you can see by the qualifying times – we were top three in qualifying so we all had the speed.

“We were able to race as well as we needed to get top three and it’s nice to be able to spray a little bit of the champagne at the end as well."

Reflecting on his own performance over the weekend, he said: “I’m really proud of the way I’ve gone.

"It’s a good feeling, there’s plenty of medals going around within our little sprint group.

“I’ve come off of the back of the Para World Champs last week with a decent bit of form and I’ve been able to go pretty well so I’m very happy with the way it went. It’s no disservice to be behind Jason and Jack.”

Rotherham won two World golds as pilot to James Ball in 2017 having only ridden together for just seven weeks previously.

He then piloted Fachie to gold in both time trial and sprint events at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018 – setting world and games records along the way – and the pair also won double gold at the 2018 World Para-Cycling Track Championships in Rio.

Having made the successful conversion, he is targeting further success in both individual and tandem cycling.

“We have a few smaller races with the para-cycling programme this year but then we’re moving towards the World Championships in Canada in January next year and the Paralympic Games where we should have the 1k time trial in September," he said.

“We’re looking pretty solid. You look at the recent World Championship where we had a slight issue, we struck silver in the main event, but it’s an event we currently hold the world record in having done that recently.

“We know we have some quick performances in us, so we do have the confidence to go towards Tokyo with a good shot of getting gold there.”

n Phynova Six Day Manchester took place between March 22 and 24. Visit https://sixday.com/news/ for more information.