Cycling: Elinor Barker shows next generation is in very safe hands

 

Maastricht

Eleven years after a certain Nicole Cooke claimed the junior World Time Trial title, Britain's first medal of the 2012 World Championships was netted by another talented young Welshwomen, Elinor Barker from Cardiff, in the same discipline.

It is way too early to tell if Barker will follow Cooke's wheeltracks and claim an Olympic road gold and senior Worlds titles in the years to come. But for Barker to add to her silver medal in the same discipline in the 2011 World Championships represents another big step in the right direction - and shows she can handle the pressure of being a pre-race favourite, too.

Barker, 18, made continued time trial progress to claim gold on a far tougher course than in Copenhagen - a punchy, 16km (10-mile) effort across the relentlessly undulating and wind-blasted countryside of the Netherlands' Limberg region.

"Winning silver last year put a lot of pressure on me today and I put a lot of pressure on myself to win this race," she said. "But I've pretty much dedicated the last year to this. I've been on my time trial bike at least twice a week, doing hill efforts, watching my diet, going to bed early.

"Absolutely everything for the last year has been focused on this race."

A double gold medallist in the European Track Championships earlier this year and silver in New Zealand's World Junior Championships just a fortnight ago, the versatile Barker will ride her last race in the junior ranks in Saturday's road race. After that the senior category beckons, with Rio 2016 a not-too-distant objective.

"I will be thrown in at the deep end and it is really exciting," said Barker, who started cycling aged 10 as a way of getting out of swimming classes. Eight years after taking that initial plunge, she has now clocked her greatest success so far.

In the senior women's event, the 2010 world champion Emma Pooley came close to repeating her bronze medal performance of 2011 but was finally forced to settle for fourth. Victory went, for the second year running, to Germany's Judith Arndt, a stalwart of women's cycling who took her first Worlds time trial medal back in 1997 and is now set, at 36, to retire.

In today's senior men's time trial with neither Bradley Wiggins - silver last year - or Chris Froome in the mix, Britain's chances are more limited than initially hoped, although even after an injury-blighted season the national GB time trial champion, Alex Dowsett, remains a strong contender for what he hopes will be a top 10 spot. The leading contenders are Alberto Contador, in flying form following his recent Tour of Spain win and –another Dowsett prediction – the defending champion, Tony Martin.

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
tvEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths teachers needed for supply work in Ipswich

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Maths teachers requir...

Executive Assistant/Events Coordinator - Old Street, London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Executive Assistant/Event...

Female PE Teacher

£23760 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

Secondary supply teachers needed in Peterborough

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: The JobAre you a trai...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering