Cycling: World champion Barker wants Tokyo sister-act

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LONDON (Reuters) – Welsh rider Elinor Barker become taking part in warm-weather education within the Cape Town sunshine this week — one of the perks of being a track biking Olympic and international champion.

Meanwhile, kid sister Megan turned into working towards on the velodrome in wet Manchester, continuing alongside a path she hopes may make next year’s Tokyo Olympics a family affair.

Both represented Wales at remaining 12 months’ Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Elinor triumphing gold inside the factors race and Megan part of the crew that got here fifth in crew pursuit.

Elinor, 24, claimed a fourth global song identify in Pruszkow remaining week, edging out Dutch preferred Kirsten Wild for an exciting and unexpected win within the scratch race.

But as she stretched her legs alongside the South African coast on Wednesday her mind had been already fixed on ensuring she is a part of Britain’s group pursuit quartet for next 12 months’ Olympics, having received gold in a world report time in Rio alongside Laura Kenny, Katie Archibald, and Joanna Rowsell.

She may have some competition close to home.

So spectacular has Megan’s development been that the 21-12 months-old is within the blend for the group pursuit — something she admitted seemed impossible not long ago, such is the rivalry within Britain’s track biking medal system.

“I assume it might be exciting,” Elinor, returned in Manchester for the staggering Six Day Series on the stop of the month, told Reuters when requested approximately the chance of vying with her more youthful sibling for a saddle inside the crew pursuit squad.

“At the moment some sufficient people are opponents however it would be exciting while the crew gets whittled down.

“You don’t need to get beat by your younger sister, but after the hard time she’s had with a few critical ailments, if she has been to make it, it’d be high-quality. And if she takes my spot one day, I could be so happy for her. I want her to have every single success that she will be able to probably have.”

Megan, who began biking along with her sister at Cardiff’s Maindy Flyers CC, the same club at which Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas started out pedaling, suffered a blood clot on the lung in 2017 and glandular fever.

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But she is now entirely recovered and a part of the British podium squad eyeing subsequent yr’s Olympics, although Paris in 2024 is probably greater sensible.

“It’s going to be hard, however ideally we would both make it,” she stated. “We will each do the whole lot we will to obtain that however don’t worry, there’ll now not be a circle of relatives feud over it.”

Elinor’s gold in Poland final week become Britain’s best victory, yet she has battled returned from a low factor last year when she nearly ceases.

“I had a tricky yr, I changed into pretty sick lots, and it made me question what was crucial to me,” she stated.

“I in no way fell out of love with cycling, I turned into just finding out whether I cherished it sufficient to put my lifestyles on maintain for some other two or six years, however many Olympic cycles it might be.

“For a few months I turned into going thru the motions however now I’m a hundred percentage centered once more and very excited to be again on the top of a team pursuit podium in Tokyo. I’ve already moved a chronic countdown in my head.”

The gauntlet has been thrown down using Australia who beat Britain to guys’ and women’s group pursuit gold in Poland, although the women have been hampered by using an ill Kenny.

“We can’t just have tunnel vision about the Aussies,” Barker said. “The Americans are a force to be reckoned with.”