Katie Archibald has been at it again; winning major championships.
This time it’s the European Individual and Team Pursuit Championships in – Guadaloupe?
Tell us about the big concrete track, please, Katie – we heard moans about it.
“The day we arrived we heard the Germans comparing it to Roubaix.
“I laughed; and then I got on the track and I nodded in agreement.”
Did you ride different tyres/gears than for the usual 250 timber indoor velodromes?
“Yeah we ran tougher tyres that wouldn’t puncture outdoors, though still up at 14 bar I think (I’ll admit I didn’t pump them up myself).
“Comparatively, for the lap splits we were doing the gear was quite big, meaning we were at a lower cadence than usual to make the lumps easier to cope with.
“But that was still a smaller gear than we’d usually use because the pace was slow.
“Does that make sense..?”
What about the weather – rain stopping play…
“Yep. Luckily it didn’t stop any events from taking place, but it tested people’s patience and temper for sure.”
What changes did you make to your team pursuit change drills given the bigger track?
“There was no, one sweet spot to change in really – and because the bankings were so wide you could use late/early changes as part of your turn structure.”
Some of the Euro riders didn’t fancy the long flights to the Caribbean – do you think that influenced many results?
“Not that I can think off, you’d maybe need to give me an example of someone who didn’t turn up.
“The only rider I noticed missing was Leire Olaberria from Spain who rides omnium but I don’t think that affected the outcome of the omnium, and obviously not that of the team/individual pursuit.”
You rode 3:40 to win the individual, what did you qualify with and were you happy with the times, given the track?
“I qualified in a 3:47 – what a massive difference. Qualifying was in the heat of the day and everyone was struggling.
“I had completely drenched myself in water, I was soaked through.
“When I started I could feel water dripping on my legs.
“All you could do with the times was compare and I think I went into the final with about a four second time cushion so yeah I was happy.”
And the same question for the team pursuit – 4:38 to win…
“Again, can only compare with the team that were there and we were the fastest by three seconds in the end was it?
“It might not be fast but you’ve got to deal with the conditions you’re given.”
How was the accommodation and food in Guadeloupe for you?
“Good and good, everyone loved the pillows of the place we were staying.
“There was also a cake buffet every night that I wouldn’t know anything about.”
Did you get a little chance to tune in to that ‘Caribbean vibe’?
“Very briefly with a TV interview afterwards where I was told to repeat what was said to me.
“It’s very likely I’ve made a total fool of myself on live television.”
How did all the travelling affect you on the way out and way back?
“As highlighted by the delay in me getting this interview to you- I’ve not been with it at all.
“Our journey home had a major detour because of winds stopping the plane landing and the lack of sleep has really hit me, especially since we went straight on to race The Revolution in London.
“My timed events in the omnium at Rev were all pretty far of my best which was a bummer, but I think I just need a few more full night’s sleep.”
The cycling media didn’t embrace the championships – that must be a tad disappointing for you?
“I didn’t know.
“We’re not very connected with the world whilst racing so I assumed that if my granny congratulated me it must be out there somewhere.
What’s next on the programme?
“We’re going to Guadalajara for the first round of the World Cup, another long haul journey.
“I’m going to be riding the omnium to give Laura (Trott) a break and a chance to focus purely on team pursuit for a competition.
“But it’ll be a good chance for me to put myself out there as in individual and see how I stand.”
The World individual title must now be a realistic goal for you – when will preparation start for that?
“The team doesn’t put a huge focus on non-Olympic events actually.
“Joanna (Rowsell) was world champion last year purely on the back of team pursuit training, I think that shows how effective GB are at training top class adaptable athletes.
“And she’ll be back around by February.”
Finally – how are you coping with that Manchester weather and is Canal Street ‘out of bounds’ for GB riders?
“Loving Manchester now it’s cooled down a bit, I’m not brilliant in summer heat. Plus I like the dark nights, it makes everything feel much calmer.
“On the Canal Street front… is that like the Mancunian Sauchiehall Street?
“Never even heard of it and I guess that answers the question.”
We believe her – congratulations again to Ms. Archibald on another excellent brace of performances.