BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2018: Elinor Barker profile

Katie Archibald of Scotland wins silver, Elinor Barker of Wales wins gold and Neah Evans of Scotland wins bronze
Elinor Barker (centre) held off GB team-mates Katie Archibald (left) and Neah Evans to win Commonwealth gold for Wales in the women's track cycling points race
BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year award 2018
Venue: Celtic Manor Resort, Newport Date and time: Tuesday, 4 December at 21:00 GMT
Coverage: Results and updates on BBC Wales Today, the BBC Sport website, BBC Radio Wales and BBC Radio Cymru

Elinor Barker capped a fine 2018 by claiming Wales' first Commonwealth Games track cycling gold in almost 30 years on Australia's Gold Coast in April.

The 24-year-old ended a drought that went back to 1990 by taking the women's points race title - pipping her Great Britain team team-mates Katie Archibald and Neah Evans.

Barker started the year with two silvers at the final round of the Track Cycling World Cup in Minsk, Belarus, in the omnium and the scratch race.

She continued her medal-winning exploits in March with silver in the women's team pursuit at the Track Cycling World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands, as part of the GB quartet that included Laura Kenny, Archibald and Emily Nelson.

That set up Barker for her moment of Commonwealth glory the following month, riding a brilliant tactical race to take the title with 40 points - 20 clear of her nearest challenger, Scotland's Archibald.

Barker stole a lap midway through the ­25km event to charge to the top of the standings, winning two of the 10 sprints on the way to gold.

Her talent and versatility was demonstrated in the following week's road race, as Barker led out Dani Rowe who claimed a bronze for Wales, with Barker still finishing seventh despite her domestique duties.

Barker has continued to improve on the road this year, helped by rejoining the Wiggle High5 team in January.

However, it was back on the track in August that Barker capped an impressive 2018 as part of the GB team that won team pursuit gold at the European Track Championships.

Barker, Kenny, Archibald and Evans dominated Italy in the final to take the title in Glasgow.

The Great Britain Women's Team Pursuit quartet of (L-R) Neah Evans, Laura Kenny, Katie Archibald and Elinor Barker
Elinor Barker (right) celebrates women's team pursuit gold for GB at the European Track Cycling Championships

The former Maindy Flyers Cycling Club junior served notice of her talent when Barker was crowned the Junior Time Trial world champion in 2012, an achievement that was recognised when she was voted the Carwyn James Junior Sportswoman of the Year at the 2012 BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year.

She became a senior world champion the following year at just 18, when the then A-Level student was part of the GB women's team pursuit trio that beat Australia in the final at the 2013 World Track Cycling Championships in Belarus.

Barker won her first major titles for Wales when she won silver in the women's points race and bronze in the scratch race at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

In 2015 came a European Track title in the team pursuit, although Barker and her team-mates had to settle for silver at the World Championships.

But the GB quartet made amends in style the following year by winning an Olympic gold medal in the team pursuit at Rio 2016, with Barker, Kenny, Joanna Rowsell Shand and Archibald setting a new world record time in the process.

Barker became a World and European champion for the third time in 2017.

At the World Track Championships in Hong Kong in April, Barker claimed gold in the points race, plus two silvers in the madison - riding with Nelson - and the scratch race.

At October's European Track Championships in Berlin, Barker and Ellie Dickinson claimed the madison title with Barker also winning silver in a Great Britain team pursuit quartet that included fellow Welsh rider Manon Lloyd.

Barker's adaptability in track events saw her become the omnium winner in the Six Day Series final in Majorca, while at the National Track Championships she won omnium silver and scratch bronze.

In the opening round of the Track Cycling World Cup in Poland in November, partnering Nelson once more, Barker won silver in the madison.

A week later in the next round in Manchester, Barker and Katie Archibald rode to madison gold, with the pair also part of the winning women's team pursuit.

A stellar 2017 was capped when Barker was made a MBE in the New Year Honours list.

Voting for BBC Cymru Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2018 opened at 08:00 GMT on Monday, 26 November and closed at 18:00 GMT on Sunday, 2 December.

Full voting terms and conditions are available on the BBC website and will also be carried on radio and television.

The winner will be unveiled on Tuesday, 4 December.

This event is not connected with the UK Sports Personality of the Year and is for the Wales award only.

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