World Champion Elinor Barker will ramp up her preparations for the Olympics when she races at the Manchester Six Day this weekend.
Barker, who’ll take to the boards tomorrow with partner and former Madison world champion Katie Archibald, said that Six day races have been key for the squads Madison preparations.
She said: “There's only so many chances to get a ride and to get that experience in Madison. It's not really something you can replicate your trading, like you can with the team pursuit. You need to have a high quality field there and they’ve been really, really good.”
Although Barker said that six day Madisons can sometimes be tactically different to the one-off Madison of the Olympics, as some riders will begin thinking about their overall placing towards the end of a Six Day, there is valuable lessons that can be learned.
“It's really about getting into how other teams ride tactically and refining skills like riding in the bunch and how to save as much money as possible or how to spend it in the most economical way that you possibly can.”
Barker was part of the British team’s pairing in the Madison at the World Championships in Berlin last month. There she rode with Neah Evans, who is also riding the Manchester Six Day with former Madison World Champion Emily Nelson, but the pair saw their Worlds medal hopes dashed when Evans crashed.
Even before that though the race had been split to pieces and the Dutch pairing of Amy Pieters and Kirsten Wild stamped their authority on it by stringing out the bunch at every opportunity.
Barker says the event has evolved substantially since it’s introduction in the elite women’s calendar in 2016. “I say it's been quite a steep learning curve,” says Barker. “Since 2017 Worlds I’ve raced three out of four Worlds there have been and I can say that they've all been quite different in the way that they've been ridden.
“When we’re doing analysis and deciding how we want to ride it’s quite hard to draw a standard race because they’ve all been so different and there’s so few of them. Plus teams are all kind of like catching up at different rates.”
She explains that tactics have evolved as the top squads all learn from other team’s mistakes and try to predict what they will do next time as well as evolving their own riding.
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Having trained as a journalist at Cardiff University I spent eight years working as a business journalist covering everything from social care, to construction to the legal profession and riding my bike at the weekends and evenings. When a friend told me Cycling Weekly was looking for a news editor, I didn't give myself much chance of landing the role, but I did and joined the publication in 2016. Since then I've covered Tours de France, World Championships, hour records, spring classics and races in the Middle East. On top of that, since becoming features editor in 2017 I've also been lucky enough to get myself sent to ride my bike for magazine pieces in Portugal and across the UK. They've all been fun but I have an enduring passion for covering the national track championships. It might not be the most glamorous but it's got a real community feeling to it.
'I sweated and tried not to barf up my sandwich': a first look at Wahoo's new Sports Science Center
We spent a day at Wahoo's recently opened drool-worthy sports science haven getting to know our bodies better
By Kristin Jenny • Published
'A big weight off my shoulders' — Jake Stewart takes 'emotional' first win
British rider breaks through with stage one victory at the Tour de l'Ain
By Adam Becket • Published
Katie Archibald leads after opening night of Track Champions League debut
Archibald leads the Endurance League after the first night of racing
By Jonny Long • Published
Great Britain make history on first day of Track Cycling World Championships
Three titles were awarded on the opening day, in the women’s scratch race and the men's and women's team sprints
By Ryan Dabbs • Published
Katie Archibald crowned European scratch race champion in first race since Olympic success
Great Britain took gold in the women’s scratch on the opening night of racing at the European Championships in Switzerland
By Alex Ballinger • Published
Elinor Barker reveals she won silver medal at Tokyo Olympics while pregnant
The British cyclist announced on social media that she is expecting her first child, revealing she was pregnant during the Olympics
By Ryan Dabbs • Published
Roubaix to host 2021 World Track Championships.... but not the velodrome you're thinking of
The famous French town is more known for the 'Hell of the North' than track cycling
By Tim Bonville-Ginn • Published