Barnes, 22, turned professional with the team in 2014 and has spent the last two seasons based in the US and combining a transatlantic race programme. However, at the Women’s Tour [of Britain] earlier this year, where she won a stage and finished 5th overall, she began to think about a full-time return to European racing.
“After the Tour of Britain I had a few teams interested and when I was at the Tour of Britain I just realised that I wanted to come back here and race. I’ve really enjoyed racing the US and taking that huge jump and leap into the unknown but wanted to come back and be a bit closer to home,” she told Cyclingnews.
“Racing in the US was a great experience and I loved every second of it. I’d never actually been to America before moving out here. At first I was bit hesitatant but then I thought, why not? Then I enjoyed the first year so much that I decided to stay for a second season. I’ve grown in confidence and really developed.”
Barnes cut her teeth in the UK Criterium racing scene before her move to the United States. Her 2016 race programme has yet to be finalised but the likely scenario will involve her combining a mixed schedule of crits, one-day and stages races.
“It will be mostly in Europe and I’ll be doing a few more stage races, which I’m really looking forward to. I’m quite nervous about it and this winter is going to be so important,” she said.
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