Britain’s Alice Barnes has set out her ambitions for her first year of racing in the women’s under-23 category – including selection for the world championships and Commonwealth Games.
New to British Cycling’s Olympic Academy Programme in winter 2013, Barnes joined Beth Crumpton, becoming a full-time athlete and completing training which would prepare her for the step into under-23 racing.
“Winter started off really well, it was my first winter training with Phil (Dixon) so more miles and more time on the mountain bike as I didn’t have school” the British junior champion explained.
However, a broken collarbone sustained in spring lead to Barnes missing the opening round of the British Cross Country Series and a stint on the turbo trainer.
Barnes’ first race back came at round two of the British series, where she finished sixth, before returning to training.
“Since I’ve broken my collarbone I’ve not done many races yet, so I’m still looking to see how my form is going” was Barnes’ assessment of the season so far – but her ambitions for 2014 remain.
“Aims for this year in the world cups will be to get some good results early on to hopefully gain Commonwealth Games selection and also world champs selection in Norway this year. So hopefully I can get some good results and we’ll see how it goes.”
An 18th place finish in her under-23 world cup debut last weekend, after a gridding of 56th shows a great deal of promise, though Barnes remains philosophical about an age group in which she will spend four seasons racing before progressing to the senior field.
“It’s my first year under-23 world cup riding so it’s a new category and it’s a much bigger category than a junior category because it’s going from two to five years. It’s a new bunch of girls so hopefully I can build on it in the few years I’m in the category.”
Barnes’ first opportunity to progress comes fast with the second of two back-to-back world cup competitions taking place in Albstadt, Germany this weekend.