Even with an Olympic gold medal and individual world champion’s rainbow jersey to her name, Elinor Barker can still remember the first moment she stepped out onto a Revolution track.
The 23-year-old has joined fellow Team GB Olympic medallists Dani Rowe and Lizzie Deignan in confirming she will race all three rounds of this winter’s Elite Women’s Championship.
Accompanied by Manon Lloyd in London before pairing up with Corrine Hall for the remaining rounds in Glasgow and Manchester, Barker will be hoping to fire Matrix Fitness higher than the sixth-place finish they managed last season.
But for Barker, once she learned to cope with the fear she felt as a teenager in the Future Stars, Revolution has proved a welcome relief from the pressure environment of major championships.
“I’m really looking forward to it, it’s pretty nice for us to have a strong group of riders racing and Revolution is getting bigger and bigger every year,” said the world points race champion.
“I rode the Future Stars, which was my first race with the crowd – I was terrified.
“I was really scared of there being a crowd there but that was what was important about it, getting used to that type of racing and knowing what it’s like to race in front of that crowd.
“It’s certainly enjoyable and it doesn’t have the pressure of a World Championships or nationals, but at the same time you want to do well because there are really good riders there.
“As a whole the Revolution Series has been great, with Future Stars being part of the programme I was very lucky to be a part of that and then not miss out on anything between juniors and seniors.”
As Revolution tours the major velodromes of the nation, Barker will tour with it in the Matrix Fitness colours.
And after a summer on the road, she is looking forward to getting back to what she knows best.
“London is somewhere with nice memories, I’ve won a World Cup there in the team pursuit and a bronze medal in the points race, which was my first international medal in an individual race,” she added.
“The Glasgow World Cup was my first ever senior race in 2012 and it was the first race after the Olympic Games so it was a pretty big deal and a massive step up for me.
“I was just out of juniors at the time so riding with Dani Rowe and Laura Kenny, who had just been to the Olympics, was huge for me.
“Then when it comes to Manchester, I live there and pretty much train there every day so that’s a pretty special place for me.”
Barker will be taking on the best riders from the track – including British teammate Katie Archibald and international rivals Kirsten Wild and Rachele Barbieri – as well as the best from the road as two former world champions Deignan and Amalie Dideriksen make their track returns in the Elite Women’s Championship.
And Barker is excited by the format Revolution’s Elite Women’s Championship offers up and cannot wait to team up with her new colleagues.
“It’s interesting having Lizzie and Amalie riding for Boels [Dolmans], people who are primarily track riders riding alongside people who do both, and also people who are primarily road riders, it’s a good balance and blend between them,” she concluded.
“In terms of my teammates then I see Manon all the time with the British squad, I’m very much looking forward to riding with her in London, we’re very close when it comes to riding.
“I don’t know Corrine that well, we’ve not managed to cross paths too many times so I am looking forward to getting to know her and racing with her.”