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by Anne-Marije Rook
May 25, 2016
Photography by Pauly Wright
WOMEN'S CYCLING BROUGHT TO YOU BY ORBEA
As part of a new series entitled ‘Faces of the Future‘, we’re taking a look at the personalities, ambitions, and palmares of some of the young and talented cyclists you might not know much about, but you’ll be hearing lots about.
Last month Drops Cycling Team announced the signing of British rider, Alice Barnes. The 20-year-old made her debut in the Drops kit at the 2016 Lincoln Grand Prix where she and her teammates swept the podium.
Already and established mountain biker, Barnes has a number of accolades to her name including a fifth place finish in the mountain bike race 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, just days after her 19th birthday.
Her road appearances have been equally impressive. Last year she finished second to Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) at the British National Road Race Championships, becoming the national under-23 champion in the process. Later that year she was part of the Great Britain team that helped Armitstead claim the World Champion title in Richmond, Virginia.
One of the UK’s biggest rising stars, Drops Cycling was happy to sign Barnes and help her work toward her Olympic goals.
Here are three things to know about Alice Barnes:
Alice Barnes finished second to Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) at the 2015 British National Road Race Championships, becoming national under-23 champion in the process. Photo by Cor Vos.
The younger of the Barnes sisters, Alice is following her own path.
Barnes is the younger sister of Hannah Barnes, a multi-discipline racer currently riding for the Canyon-SRAM team.
They grew up riding and racing bikes together, even joining the same club, Team Keyne as juniors. Having differing individual focuses, however, has helped keep the sibling rivalry at bay.
“Me and Hannah are very supportive of each other and I think because we have had our own focuses, which has helped,” said Barnes, who started carving out her own path as a junior racer, gravitating more toward mountain biking while Hannah was more active on the track.
Racing since she was just eight years old, cycling was a family hobby growing up.
“Every holiday and weekend we always had bikes involved but as a hobby rather than anything serious. My mum and dad were involved in some racing but only some local MTB races and 24 hour races,” said Barnes.
Barnes and her two siblings took a liking to cycling and they all caught the racing bug early.
“I started racing when I was eight years old and was just enjoying myself. And I have done so ever since,” Barnes said.
Barnes is putting her MTB ambitions aside for Rio road goals
When Great Britain failed to qualify for the Olympics due to being short of elite female racers, Barnes shifted her focus to the Olympic Road Race.
“Supporting Lizzie to her World Championships medal was one of the most amazing experiences to ride with someone so professional and confident,” said Barnes, adding that she hopes to do so again in Rio and Qatar.
“Making the decision to focus on the road for the early part of this season was a big decision as I love to race my mountain bike,” continued Barnes, naming it as one of her biggest challenges yet. “At the moment I’m taking a focus on the road but with every intention to turn back to mountain biking and continue be successful in both disciplines. My road goals are to make the team for the Olympics but also compete in the World Championships at the end of the year in Qatar, along with some important upcoming races.”
Given her recent successes in the UK, Barnes is one to watch this season. You can follow her road to Rio via social media:
Alice Barnes made her debut for Drops Cycling at the GP Lincoln where she took the win. Photo by Huw Williams.