Elinor Barker rose to fame when she became the Junior World Individual Time Trial Champion in 2012, also taking the titles European World Track Champion in the Individual Pursuit and Team Pursuit.
She joined Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling in 2013, aged 18, and has now chosen to move to Matrix Fitness Pro Cycling for 2015, saying she feels more sure of herself than she did aged 18.
"I guess when I was 18, I didn’t really know what I wanted, this time around, when I was trying to decide who I wanted to ride for and what I wanted to get out of the year – I was a bit more experienced and I had a bit more confidence in my own thought process and my own decision making, and what I actually wanted."
The former Junior World Time Trial Champion and two time Team Pursuit champion, added: "When I was 18, I was just kind of eager, I was basically running around saying ‘Pick Me! Pick Me!’ It’s nice now to be a bit more informed and to know what I want a bit more."
So what are the goals for 2015? The 20-year-old has her eyes on the Women’s Tour – and said: "I’d really like to go to the women’s tour this year, just to ride it would be incredible. I didn’t get picked last year unfortunately due to a few illnesses, and things like that, so it was pretty gutting to sit and home and watch it on TV and think ‘I was so close to being there but not quite’."
The five day stage race will be a learning curve, and she told us: "I’ve never targeted a stage race, it’s always been about the track. I’m going to have to alter my training quite a bit, but I don’t think it’s totally unachievable."
Barker is enjoying her time on the team, and said: "I like the organisation, everything is really organised, which is quite rare sometimes.
"Stephan [team manager] has just thought of absolutely everything, and I like that [here] the racing is the most important thing, even though we’re doing a lot to promote women’s cycling, the racing is the reason that we do it, and everything around the racing is thought about rather than left to the side."
The ultimate goal, for Barker, remains the track – and Rio in 2016 – nothing comes ahead of that. Barker confirmed: "I’m thinking about Rio all the time, everything I’m doing at the moment is to try and get myself there. Road races give you the strength and the endurance that you need to be good on the track but it’s not my ultimate goal. As much as id like to do the Women’s Tour, if I didn’t think it would help me get to Rio, I wouldn’t do it."
Barker began cycling aged 10, as a way of avoiding swimming classes. She was recruited by the British Cycling Olympic Development Academy – and has been on a path to track success ever since.
The life of a professional cyclist has its ups and downs – she told us: "The best thing about being a pro cyclist is when sometimes on a weekday, I’ve finished training, and I’m in my pyjamas at 3pm, thinking 'this is my job!'"
There are sacrifices, too – if she wasn’t a pro, the 20-year-old, like many her own age, would like to travel and 'see the world'.
The job involves plenty of travel, but little seeing the world – she said: "You see a lot of velodromes, and a lot of hotels. We did get to go to the Caribbean last year, for the Track Euros, bizarrely, I’ve never seen water so clear and blue, and sand so perfect. It was like something out of a holiday brochure, I guess that’s where they get the pictures from!"
Missing out on the pub with friends is another thing Elinor misses, but she added: "The benefits of being a pro cyclist definitely outweigh things like not being able to go to the pub. We live in the kind of environment where everybody I see day to day is a cyclist, I don’t feel like I’m really missing out as everybody is living the same lifestyle."
For those starting out in the sport of bike racing, Elinor advised that riders enjoy their training and racing, without getting too serious, too early on – she said: "Enjoy it a lot more. A lot of people start out at an entry level and take it really seriously, then there is kind of a cross over in between, then people get to a really professional level and they chill out a bit more."
Making mistakes is important, too – she said: "You’re going to make mistakes, the only way to get better is by making those mistakes in the first place. The more you make the quicker you’ll learn early on."