Hannah Barnes: People shouldn't underestimate Uno-X

EIBAR SPAIN MAY 16 Hannah Barnes of The United Kingdom and Team CanyonSRAM Racing at arrival during the 3rd Gran Premio Ciudad De Eibar 2021 a 1172km race from Eibar to Arrate Alto Usartza 581m III Eibarko Hiria sari nagusia CiudaddeEibar21 CCEibarres on May 16 2021 in Eibar Spain Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Hannah Barnes at the Gran Premio Ciudad De Eibar in 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Hannah Barnes (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) is putting team ambitions first and welcoming a change of scenery as she heads into 2022 with the newly-formed Uno-X women's team.

After six seasons riding for Canyon-SRAM Racing, 28-year-old Barnes joins the Norwegian squad as one of their most experienced riders and will take on a support role in the team.

"It was a big decision for me to make," Barnes said of the move. "But I was really excited to be part of a team that was new. It was a new venture for them to have a women's team, and I wanted to come in as one of the riders in the team that has that experience.

"I've learned a lot - hopefully - over the eight years I've been professional, and I can pass that knowledge onto the young riders that we have in the team."

Though Uno-X are a brand new team for 2022, they have recruited a mixture of proven and promising riders, which Barnes says will make them contenders when the season begins.

"There's a lot of riders here who are really strong. You're at the dinner table with 18- and 19-year-olds, but you wouldn't know that when you're on the bike," she said, referring to the likes of Anniina Ahtosalo and Anne Dorthe Ysland.

"I think it would be great to start the year and shock some people," she added. "Because we are underdogs going into the season, so I think people might underestimate us, but I don't think they should."

Barnes underlines that team ambitions and supporting younger riders will be her main objectives this year, but she is hoping for some chances to ride for herself.

"I think I will have a few opportunities throughout the season, particularly in the Classics maybe, alongside Susanne [Andersen]. We're riders that do well in those sorts of races, those environments. But even just going off the training here, I can tell that I won't get too many opportunities being leader because everyone is so strong."

Off the bike, Uno-X have turned heads twice already this season, firstly with their support for Elinor Barker, who will be on maternity leave this season, and then with their team-building weekend in the Norwegian forest, complete with military drills and 4am fitness tests. Barnes commended the team's approach and understanding of rider wellbeing.

"It doesn't feel like it's just a bike race team, it's kind of like a family," she said. "They believe everything around the racing is important as well. I think that's really important within the team, just making sure everyone is fine, everyone's relaxed and it doesn't take over from your day-to-day life.

"I feel like for me, where I am in my career, I do need to have those moments where I can have a bit of me time and do things I enjoy outside of cycling. So I think having the team on board with that is really great."

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1