Elinor Barker: Olympic champion surprised by World Cup points race win

Elinor Barker on her way to victory in the points race at the Track World Cup event in the Netherlands

Elinor Barker was a double European Junior track champion in 2012

Welsh cyclist Elinor Barker says she was pleasantly surprised to win the Track World Cup points race.

Barker, a member of the successful Olympic team pursuit quartet in Rio, won gold ahead of Japan’s Minami Uwano in Appeldoorn, Netherlands.

“It was a little bit unexpected,” said the 22-year-old from Cardiff.

“Training been difficult since Rio and after having some time off it’s always hard to get back into it so I was quite pleasantly surprised at that weekend.”

Britain topped the medal table with two golds, two silvers and one bronze, and Barker believes it is a good indicator of the young talent coming through the ranks.

“We’ve mainly had young squads go around to the World Cup and European Championships so you might expect that the results may not be as good but they’ve actually been doing incredibly well,” she said.

“I think it shows that the future is pretty bright for British cycling at the moment.”

No Rio hangover

On a personal level Barker is relieved there has been no hangover from the British success at the Olympics.

“I anticipated it to be worse than it was, to be honest,” she told BBC Radio Wales Sport.


The Great Britain team celebrate winning gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016

“There’s been a few training sessions which have been particularly horrible and maybe I’m not hitting the numbers that I was before Rio but that’s to be expected, really.

“Motivational-wise it doesn’t feel like a post-Rio training block at all.”

Commonwealth Games dream

After the success in Rio with Team GB, Barker says she is looking forward to representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast.

Changes to the schedule mean there will be more cycling events for women than in previous Games.

“It’s the first Commonwealth Games where there’s equal events across all men’s and women’s sports so that’s quite exciting,” she added.

“Hopefully we’ll be competing in the team sprint for the first time as Wales.

“I’ll be a bit older and a bit more experienced but so will everybody else.”

Article source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/wales/37995651

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