Laura Trott was one of the most successful of Team GB's cyclists in 2012 when she won double gold at the velodrome in front of a packed crowd in London. She has since gone on to become the poster-girl of British cycling and will be looking to defend her titles in Rio next year.

Laura Trott

Laura Trott

She is supporting the Prudential RideLondon campaign, which is trying to encourage as many people as possible to get out on their bikes in the capital.

We caught up with her to chat about the campaign and getting into cycling as well as looking back and forward to the London and Rio Olympics.

- You are supporting the Prudential RideLondon alongside the Women's Institute, so can you tell me a bit about the event?

I am here today at the Women's Institute here in Wimbledon to really just inspire all of the women who have come here for a lunch with us to get out on their bikes and maybe take part in the Prudential Ride London in August this year.

- How did you get involved in the event? And what was it about the message that this event gives out that struck a chord with you?

I think it was the message that got me involved. For me, it is about getting as many people as possible out riding a bike and there's no better way of doing than around such a beautiful city.

When the idea was put out there, I don't think anyone really believed that it would be as big as it is. It has just got bigger and bigger and it is just incredible to see so many people riding their bikes around the centre of London.

- We are always hearing about how important it is to get more kids - especially girls - into regular sport, so what are the major health benefits of cycling?

It is just about making yourself feel good whether you can ride for ten minutes of an hour. It is about making yourself more lively and making you feel a happier person because you are getting to exercise.

- What pieces of advice would you particularly give young girls who are thinking about taking up cycling? Are there cycling clubs around the UK they can get involved with?

For me, I joined a club; there are lots of clubs throughout the UK that you can join. There was a whole group of young girls and young boys down there doing it and that was a really easy way for me to start because there were people of all different levels and you never felt like you were the odd one out. I would say go and find your local club or your local group and join in with them and see how you get on.

- What initially drew you to cycling? When did you make the decision to go from cycling for fun to taking it seriously as a sport?

I started when I was eight and it was because my mum chose it as a way of losing weight; we did it as a family to support my mum. One thing really did just lead to another. I made the decision... it wasn't really a decision I just got pushed down the pathway because I was winning races and I was winning national races and I bounced from group to group.

British Cycling has a system where you are in one group when you are fifteen or sixteen, move to another when you are seventeen, and then you move away from home and you are officially on the GB programme - I went down that route. It wasn't until I was fifteen or sixteen that I really believed that I could do that and it could be my career.

- It's hard to believe that London 2012 is now three years ago, how would you sum up that experience when you look back on it now?

It was just incredible and I had such an amazing time. If you'd have to me beforehand that I was going to win two gold medals at a home Games I would never ever had believed.

There were so many people saying to me when I was at school, 'your first Games will probably be Rio and you can use that as experience ahead of Tokyo.' Never would I have believed you that I would have won two golds in London. It was just the best time of my life.

Ahead of the Games, we were in a holding camp - it is two weeks where you are trapped in a hotel - and they chose Celtic Manor in Wales. That was the best two weeks of my life because you haven't won, you haven't lost and everyone is doing everything for you - it was just amazing. Then after the Games as well and all of the things that you are invited to was great. I literally had just the best four weeks of my life.

- The Rio 2016 Olympics are now just twelve months away, so what kind of shape are you in at the moment? And what are you focusing on now that 2016 is just a year out?

Our qualifying started back in February of this year and we won't know if we have qualified until June 2016: we will be qualifying over a very long time period. Preparations are starting, I think it is going well, and things do seem to be on track.

It was disappointing to win two silver at the World Championships rather than two golds but these things happen. Sir Chris Hoy did not win a Keirin world title before he won Olympic gold in London so it is just a stepping-stone to getting to those gold medals.

- Every time Team GB takes to the track, there is this huge expectation to win because of the success that the team has had in recent years. Do you find that stressful?

Yeah, it can be hard and stressful at times. At this year's World Championships, I was the last event and I was the last chance to get a gold medal - so you do feel pressure I guess.

It is just one of those things. I suppose we did feel pressure before London but it is just about having the systems in place to stop you feeling so stressed about it.

- Team GB was the major force on the track back in 2012, where do you think the team is now as Brazil draws closer - will GB still be regarded as the team to beat?

Yeah, I reckon so. No one thought that we would be able to back up our performance from Beijing but we did just that in London. I don't see why we can't bounce back and repeat that success in Rio next year.

- If there are people out there who love their cycling and want to follow in your footsteps and take it to the next level, how could they do that?

Get involved in your local club because they should know the pathways to British Cycling and how to go through their system. I can only speak for the way I did it and that was through British Cycling and I cannot thank them enough for having the systems in place that they had. Clubs are all associated with British Cycling and they should know how to push you down those pathways.

- Where are we going to see you race between now and next summer?

I have got a race on the road at the National Championships in Lincoln in a couple of weeks' time - I am going to go there to try to defend my title. We then have the Europeans at either the end of September or early October in Switzerland. We will then be heading to Columbia where the first World Cup is going to be taking place.

Prudential hosted an afternoon tea with Laura Trott and the WI to inspire more women to achieve their ambitions. Visit

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