National Road Championships 2017: Elinor Barker aims for time trial medal

Elinor Barker

Elinor Barker began racing with Maindy Flyers in Cardiff

Olympic champion Elinor Barker has swapped the track for the roads and aiming for a National Road Championships medal on the Isle of Man.

Barker has had recent success on the track, including individual victory in the 25km points race at the World Championships in April in Hong Kong and team pursuit Olympic gold at Rio 2016.

Barker’s attention will be back to the road on Thursday, 22 June.

“I am feeling a bit nervous,” Barker told BBC Sport Wales.

Barker, 22, had success off the track on a global scale when she won the world road junior time trial in 2012.

“I have missed the Nationals the last couple of years for various reasons, either because of the Olympics or injury or illness,” said Barker.

“I have not actually done one for a while so I am really looking forward to it.”

Barker will take part in the time trial on Thursday and the road race on Sunday, 25 June.

‘I’m aiming for the podium’ – Barker

“Training has been going well and I have been enjoying having a slightly new focus for this year and it has kept it quite interesting,” said Barker.

“I am mainly focusing on the time trial at this event and aiming for a podium,” said Barker.

“The time trial is my goal for this season so it will help set me up to get selected for bigger races, if I can get a good performance out this week.

“In the road race I am not sure where to go for that.

“There is a big hill in the race which doesn’t suit me very well.”

Rowe, Doull and Davies in action

Barker is not the only Welsh interest in the Isle of Man with Luke Rowe and Owain Doull competing for Team Sky and Scott Davies aiming for a fourth successive Under-23 time trial title.

“I would like to think I have a good chance of defending my title and it would mean a lot,” said Davies.

“I am the first person to win it three time in a row. To win it four times you write yourselves into the history books.”

Davies, 21, was forced out of action for two months this year with a virus before returning this month with a fourth-place finish in the Giro D’Italia Under-23 race.

The Carmarthen cyclist is being lined up as a key figure in the Wales road squad for the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast next April with Rowe, Doull and Geraint Thomas set to miss out because of Team Sky commitments.

But Davies might himself be unavailable if he realises his dream of riding on the World Tour.

“I would love to ride (in the Commonwealth Games),” said Davies.

“It is a goal of mine as it stands but ultimately it depends on what team I am riding for next season.

“If I achieve my long-term goal of being on the World Tour, who knows whether I would be available?

“I will have to wait and see what team I am riding for next season. It’s ongoing and I have had no offers yet.”

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