Jason Kenny has returned from his secret "retirement" ©Getty Images

Britain's joint most-successful Olympian, cyclist Jason Kenny, has revealed that he secretly retired after the Rio 2016 Olympics but has since reversed his decision.

Six times a gold medallist, he told BBC Sport that he "stepped away" from track cycling because of the sport's physical and mental exertions.

However, he says that taking a year off, and becoming a father, has led him to reassess matters.

"I was pretty happy with my decision to walk away and never come back," he told BBC Sport.

"I started looking at other jobs that I can do.

"I was quite serious.

"I'd done it for 10 years and I'd never had more than a couple of weeks off. 

"This is the first time I've stepped away and switched off and been myself.

"I started training again and I thought I might try a bit of a comeback. 

"I did a couple of efforts and they weren't great results, but I felt like I did when I was 18. 

Jason Kenny and his wife and team-mate Laura Trott display their medals ©Getty Images
Jason Kenny and his wife and team-mate Laura Trott display their medals ©Getty Images

"I felt refreshed."

Kenny married fellow British cyclist Laura Trott last year after returning from Rio 2016, and their son Albert was born last month.

Now Laura Kenny, she is herself a four-time Olympic gold medallist.

"She never pushed me to carry on but for her, when she was pregnant, it was quite difficult," Jason added.

"She was exercising instead of training and then she got to a point where she had to down tools and stop."

On January 6, Kenny will compete in the Revolution Series in Manchester.

He is level with fellow cyclist Sir Chris Hoy on British gold medals won.

Another cyclist, Sir Bradley Wiggins, has the largest number of total medals with eight.