Barker revels in Six Day Final crown after consistency rules the boards
18 March 2017
Elinor Barker was delighted to hail her “pinch me” moment after a superb performance in Mallorca saw her crowned the very first Six Day Women’s Omnium Champion.
The Six Day Amsterdam winner delivered a scintillating show on the Palma track to lead the way, narrowly edging out Katie Archibald and Amalie Dideriksen in a hotly-contested field.
That was despite Barker not taking a race win across the evening as consistency proved her strongest asset, taking top-four places in all three of the races in the competition.
That was enough for the British cyclist to make history on the boards, still revelling in just how impressive her form is heading into the rest of 2017.
“It was awesome, I’m really happy,” said Barker. “The World Championships aren’t far away so I’m really happy I had some good form and was able to race tactically well.
“It’s a massive confidence boost heading forward, heading into the World Championships with a load of races having won at Six Day.
“Katie’s form over winter has been unbelievable so I’m very happy to have beaten her, we’re teammates in some races but she’s a very classy rider and it’s some achievement to have beaten her.
“And if you’re getting a lap with a current world road race champion (Amalie) in the points race, then it’s a pinch me kind of moment – it all worked out perfectly for me!”
“I hadn’t thought about that [being the first Six Day Series champion], but nobody else can say they have that honour so I’m very happy with that.
“I’ve really enjoyed the Six Day Series, I did London and Amsterdam quite close together and it’s good to get that race exposure in over the winter. The standard is always so high too.”
Barker finished second in the night opening 10km scratch race, a dramatic way to start the evening with the entire field locked together with just ten laps remaining.
But, with one break looing likely to decide the outcome, Tatjana Paller launched a late sprint to take glory – a place atop the podium that left her the most surprised person in the Velodrome.
Archibald took honours in the next elimination race, showing the exact form that had seen her crowned Six Day London champion back in October, with the final lap almost a procession after blitzing her way through the field.
But with Barker finishing fourth in the race, there was certainly lots riding on the final 10km points race, as she and Dideriksen broke free to take both a lap and vital points.
The Dane and Six Day Berlin winner Dideriksen was the first to cross the line, but a second runner-up spot of the night was enough for Barker to take the Six Day Series Final title.