She talks like she rides. At breakneck speed, only punctuated by an artillery of giggles. It’s through this medium that you learn: she is the most aerodynamic member of the GB Cycling Programme, she once mortified herself in front of David Beckham, Prince Charles definitely asked her the wrong question when she received her OBE and Jason Kenny - her fellow GB cycling boyfriend - is rubbish at housework.
Laura Trott is entirely the wrong name for this woman. It implies poodling along at gentle speed, when actually she seems to live as though fired by a rocket launcher. She admits radio producers beg her to slow down for their interviews and her international rivals probably do the same in their silent prayers on the start line. If so, their gods turn immortal deaf ears. At London 2012 she won two golds at the age of 20, claimed a further gold and silver at the World Championships this year and pelted round the Ride London at the weekend to win the inaugural Women’s Grand Prix.
If Victoria Pendleton has retired as the grand dame of cycling, Trott is her young replacement. It is not a mantle that rests heavily on her shoulders. She is a scream. A tiny scream, no more than 5’4” tall and weighing just over eight stone. She is probably the equivalent of one Chris Hoy thigh.
Prince Charles asked me what my diet’s like. That’s really not the best question for me because I just eat whatever I want, whenever I want."
“Yeah, but,” she says in rapid Essex, “it’s just power to weight. I’m the most aerodynamic person on the programme because I’m so small. I just punch such a little hole through the air.”
On the other hand, the long, swinging hair must add about 10lbs - albeit scrunched up under her helmet. “My coach keeps threatening to cut it off - but he’s not.
“You have to have certain things that make you feel good. It’s not the most feminine sport, is it? I can’t wear a dress when I’m cycling can I? I’m a real girly girl, so the minute I’m not on the bike I make a real effort, even if I’m not going out. All made up, hair done.”
She burst into the limelight with victories in the Team Pursuit and the Omnium in London and then compounded her fame by smooching with her boyfriend at the Beach Volleyball, exchanging chat with Prince Harry and David Beckham in the crowd. “God, he was so nice, Prince Harry. He’s just a normal person. He warned us. ‘Oh, be careful you two,’ because he thought the press might take pictures and he was right. We thought in the grand scheme of things we were nothing compared with David Beckham.
I actually started riding my bike again 10 days after the Games. It was the only thing that made me feel normal"
“We didn’t realise but David bought us a pork and apple sandwich. It just turned up. This security guard brought it and we were like ‘ What the hell? ‘ Because with all the drugs and stuff, you have to be careful. So I said ‘Well, I’m not eating that’ and then David turned round and said: ‘I bought that for you.’ and I was like: ‘Oooops! Swallow me up floor!’
“I felt like I’d gone from nobody to massive in just a day - overnight. I’ve done stuff you wouldn’t even believe.
“When I got my OBE, Prince Charles asked me what my diet’s like. That’s really not the best question for me because I just eat whatever I want, whenever I want. I told him I ate a big share bag of Maltesers every day at the Games. I’m the worst person. Whenever kids ask me what I eat I say: ‘Oh no, I’m terrible, your teachers are going to hate me.’ I don’t eat fruit either. I know that sounds like, ‘What?” But I’ve got a real thing about textures and I don’t like the texture of fruit.” She grins unashamedly.
But no one could accuse her of not training hard enough. “I actually started riding my bike again 10 days after the Games. It was the only thing that made me feel normal. The hardest thing for me was accepting change when Joanna Rowsell left the Pursuit team. We’d been so close and so tight for over two years that when she made the decision to step on to the road, it felt like I was losing a sister. I just didn’t feel motivated. It was just sad. It wasn’t the same.
“I cried. I just felt like she should be there. I rang her every day from the first competition she was missing. I said: ‘I just don’t understand. I don’t know what to do’. For me, because my heart is so on the track, I love it so much - for someone to want to leave - I couldn’t get my head round it.
“I think my coach was quite worried. He was a bit like: ‘Whoa, what the hell’s happened to her?’ I just had to get over it.”
It may have helped that she bought a house in Manchester, 30 minutes from the velodrome where she lives with Jason and her new pet Sproodle, Sprolo. “It’s good, really good. Sprolo’s really cute and it feels like a home. I feel like I need it to be a home because otherwise I’m going to crack. I cycle day in day out. There’s not much going on in my life so I need somewhere that feels like mine.”
If I could cycle for the rest of my life, I would. I would love to go three, four or even five Olympics"
Two gold-medal winning international athletes under the same roof must be an interesting dynamic. “Yeah. Well Jason does nothing, in other words.” (Laughter.) “I just do everything. Right, the other day I cooked him sausage pasta” - (giggle) - “and he sent me a text saying it was amazing because I’d left it for him to reheat. I was like ‘Can you just make sure you wash up the plate’. Came home - and the plate hadn’t been washed.” (Laughter.) “Seriously. It’s annoying.” (Giggle.) “So when I say, he does nothing, I really don’t think he does. Apart from he empties out the hoover “ (Laughter.) - “and puts the bins out”. (Giggle.)
But she reckons the most difficult thing about their life together (besides the fact that “he thinks the floor is somewhere to store stuff”) is finding time to be in for the plumber when she works 9-5 at the velodrome. “We’ve had a blocked toilet for about four months.”
As for the future: she’s going for Chris Hoy’s record British Olympic haul of six gold medals. “I mean, I don’t want to retire. Ever. If I could cycle for the rest of my life, I would. I would love to go three, four or even five Olympics. I’d be fairly old at the last one, but you never know.
“It would be nice wouldn’t it? I just think it’s a nice target.” Does Chris know what she has in mind? “No probably not.”
He does now.