Hannah Barnes will return to home soil to compete in the women's Tour de Yorkshire, held on May 3 and 4 in Great Britain. She celebrates her 25th birthday on the second and final stage, and will lead the six-rider Canyon-SRAM team in hope of securing the overall title.
"The second stage falls on my birthday and starts in Barnsley so I would like to do well there," Barnes said. "I've pre-ridden the stage and it's very challenging. It's great that the organisers have extended the race to two days and with the live broadcast I'm sure that fans will see an exciting race."
Barnes was fifth in last year's one-day event, won by Lizzie Deignan (Boels Dolmans). This edition of the Tour de Yorkshire hosts two stages; stage 1 will be 132.5km from Beverley to Doncaster and is expected to be one for the sprinters, while stage 2 is 124km from Barnsley to Ilkley and caters to the climbers.
Although Barnes is better known for her sprint, she proved her climbing abilities when she won the overall title at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana in February in Spain.
She will be joined by a strong team that includes her sister, Alice Barnes, Alena Amialiusik, Tiffany Cromwell, Tanja Erath, and Alexis Ryan.
"It's a home race which adds a huge amount of excitement but with that also comes some extra pressure," Barnes said. "I had a good race last year and this year our team is stronger so I know that we can be very aggressive in the race."