Thanks to double world junior road race champion Lucy, the surname Garner carries with it a bit of expectation these days. Luckily for Grace, Lucy’s 16-year-old sister, who recently tackled the Johnson Health Tech GP Series for RST Racing, having an older sibling with two rainbow jerseys has its benefits.
“I’d like to think that we’ve got similar genes, but I’m not sure,” says Grace. “I’ve got her to look up to; I know what she’s done, and how she’s got to where she is. It’s an inspiration.”
As part of British Cycling’s Olympic Talent Team, Garner junior mixes studies with track camps where she and six other girls focus on team pursuit training, along with the occasional trip to the continent.
“We’re training with the best competition in the country, so that pushes me to go harder,” she adds.
Applications for the next rung of the BC ladder, the Olympic Development Programme, are open in September. With an impressive fourth place at the novice Omloop Van Strijen in Belgium earlier this year, the first of five Brits in the top 10, Garner is cautiously optimistic about selection.
“I’m hoping,” she says. “I’m not sure, because there are quite a few people who are not on the talent team that could make it on there. It’s so close now between all of us.”
Should all go to plan, could a second generation of junior world champions be just a few years away? “Maybe! Meg [Barker, Elinor’s younger sister] and I are really good friends,” Grace says.
This article was first published in the June 20 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!