Elinor Barker Tipped To Inspire GB Squad At Third Olympics

Elinor Barker Great Britain. (Photo by Barrington Coombs/Getty Images)

Elinor Barker Tipped To Inspire GB Squad At Third Olympics


By Hannah Blackwell

Elinor Barker has been backed to bring the benefit of huge experience to the Great Britain cycling squad when she competes at her third Olympic Games.

Welsh star Barker, who won Olympic gold in 2016 and silver in 2020 in the team pursuit on the track, has been named in a strong group for Paris that includes Wales’ track sprint world champion Emma Finucane.

Barker’s sister Meg will travel as a reserve rider for the women’s track endurance events – part of group of 12 Welsh riders.

The others are Jess Roberts, Anna Morris, Josh Tarling, Stevie Williams and Ella Maclean-Howell, plus reserves Zoe Backstedt, Elynor Backstedt, Lowri Thomas and Owain Doull.

GB performance director Stephen Park said: “I’m hugely excited for each of and every one of the riders we have announced today to represent Team GB in Paris, which completes our team selection for the Games.

“We’re blessed with an incredible depth of talent and experience across all five of the cycling disciplines, and I know that the squad will benefit hugely from the likes of Lizzie Deignan and Elinor Barker who will join us for their fourth and third Games respectively.

“Achieving gender parity across the squad is something we’ve been working towards for a number of years, and I’m hugely proud of the work our support staff have done to support our three mums on the squad, who are blazing a trail for women at the highest level of elite sport.

“Our riders have delivered some of the most iconic and memorable Olympic moments of recent times, and I have every faith that our riders can inspire the nation once again at Paris 2024.”

Elinor Barker has acknowledged that it was the likes of Laura Kenny, Lizzie Deignan and Sarah Storey, who paved the way for mothers to return to the track at the highest level.

“Because of these women and many more I didn’t doubt the future of my career for one second,” said Barker.

“I’d always been in awe of what they’ve each achieved since becoming parents, but only recently have I fully understood the full power of what each of them has done.

“Until a few years ago, I had assumed having a baby would mean the end of my career,” said the 29-year-old, who had been open about an endometriosis diagnosis at 23, which doctors had warned could make it difficult to conceive.

“Now it doesn’t even have to mean the end of my season.”

Barker has been front and centre of golden era for British cycling and has racked up a remarkable 25 World and European Championship medals – including 15 golds – since her big stage debut back in 2013.


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