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Elinor Barker: ‘I’m not even expecting to finish Nationals. I’m looking forward to it.’

Elinor Barker: 'I’m not even expecting to finish Nationals. I’m looking forward to it.'

Olympic gold medallist and new mother Elinor Barker writes a column every month in Cycling Weekly magazine, on sale at all good news agents. Subscribe…

Wednesday, Jun 22

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Olympic gold medallist and new mother Elinor Barker writes a column every month in Cycling Weekly magazine, on sale at all good news agents. Subscribe here .

I’ve bought my share of stupid things recently, having taken to online shopping to keep myself awake during the night feeds. This includes a pair of kitchen stools apparently made for giants- I needed a leg up to sit on them, and a weekly shop delivered to the wrong address.

I should probably try to pass off my entry into the national road race this weekend as another sleep-deprived purchase to be returned when the light of day reveals my foolishness. This is not the case. I’d decided I wanted to be in the race well before I’d even lost a minute of sleep to my now three month old boy. Within a few weeks of finding out my due date, I did the maths and figured if I was lucky, I might be able to get myself on the start line.

Before you ask, no, I’ve never been a particularly patient person. After taking one year away from road to focus on the Olympics, which Covid turned into two, by August of 2021 I was ready to be back in the peloton. An unexpected pregnancy threatened to extend that to three full years away from road racing if I put off racing until next season.

You’d be forgiven for assuming choosing to race now means I’ve “bounced-back” to my pre- pregnancy self, after all […]

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