Nico’s Golden Mum . . . Elinor Barker Wins At European Championships And Emma Finucane Takes A Silver

Great Britain's Elinor Barker celebrates. Pic: Getty Images.

Nico’s Golden Mum . . . Elinor Barker Wins At European Championships And Emma Finucane Takes A Silver

By Hannah Blackwell

Elinor Barker has won her first cycling title since giving birth to her son Nico less than a year ago.

The Welsh track star partnered Katie Archibald to victory in the Madison at the European Championships in Switzerland.

It was Archibald’s third title of the week and 20th of her career, while Barker’s fellow Welsh rider Emma Finucane also claimed silver in the women’s keirin as Great Britain ended the week with four gold, six silver and two bronze medals.

Barker, who was racing on the track for the first time since giving birth to her son Nico 11 months ago, said: “After the team pursuit Katie said this is the day that we get to do the thing that we’re one of the best in the world at.

“We don’t get to do it very often, so let’s just go and enjoy it.

“For me it’s my first Madison for a really long time. I used to do it all the time and maybe forgot quite how special it is, and it’s also a privilege to get to ride with somebody like Katie.”

Archibald and Barker made the ideal start with maximum points in four of the first seven sprints to open up a commanding lead and Olympic champion Archibald also won the 10th on the way to victory by 13 points.

“I’ve only missed one Europeans in my career, it’s the first thing I wore a GB jersey for,” Archibald said.

“I was selected in 2013 to ride with El for the first time, and I’ve only missed once since then which was last year. It’ll now be my 10th season of having a European jersey and I’m proud every time I get to do that.”

In the keirin final, Finucane timed her final sprint superbly to overtake Emma Hinze and secure the silver medal behind world champion Lea Sophie Friedrich.

“I was really proud of myself to make it to the final,” the 20-year-old Welsh rider said.

“At one point I was thinking I was being really patient but then I just gave it everything to the finish line and to come away with second, I honestly can’t believe it.

“I’ll remember this for the rest of my life; just being stood up there on the podium with the Germans, thinking this is crazy.”

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