That man John Archibald is back in action again – and with a 48 minutes and 13 seconds ‘BANG !’ down on the Westferry course in the CTT ‘25’ Champs on Sunday past.
It gave us a good excuse to catch up with the Commonwealth Games individual pursuit silver medallist and see what he’s been up to since The Gold Coast and what’s next on the agenda for him?
Another nice ride, John, congratulations – but first of all, have you recovered from the injuries you sustained when you crashed in the time trial at The Games?
“I’m not at 100% but I can race; it affects me less on the bike than off it.
“It’s in the gym where I’m still not fully back to where I was previously – I lost a lot of muscle around my shoulder and there’s tendon damage.
“That’s not ideal because gym work is so important for track preparation.”
I believe that the weather down on Westferry wasn’t the best for the CTT event?
“It was warm but really windy, it was definitely a head wind/tail wind situation; you were getting blown about a bit on the way back.
“The course has changed, the big downhill ‘ramp’ start has been shortened and then you have to negotiate the roundabout at the finish – it’s maybe not as quick; but that said I went two minutes faster than I have done before on it.”
Can we ask about your watts?
“My average was 375 – I was riding to 380 but you have two turns and 14 roundabouts to negotiate so you’re spending a fair bit of time freewheeling…
“I actually think that my ride on Sunday was a better one than when I set the 47:57 record in the ‘25’ Champs at Forfar last year.”
How has your training changed from all your pursuit oriented work going into The Games?
“Quite a bit.
“I’m doing more on the road and the intervals I’m doing are longer.
“After The Games I couldn’t handle a one hour time trial effort, I’ve had to build back up to it.
“That’s five or six weeks since I got back into training properly but it’s only in the last week or two I’ve started to feel good again.
“And I still have four weeks until the British Time Trial Championships.”
You’re with KGF for the track and Ribble for the road now – has being involved with Dan Bigham changed much about the way your race preparation goes?
“I think his influence will have more of an input in future – he looks at all the details especially with equipment and position.
“The good thing about Dan is that he gives his advice freely; it would be easy for him to say; ‘you’ll have to book a consultation with me to discuss that,’ and charge for it – but he doesn’t he’s very open and sharing of his knowledge with everyone.
“Aerodynamics are so important to going fast, you can do all the training you like but if you’re sitting upright and catching the wind then you’re not going to go fast.”
Tell us about your new bike.
“It’s the Ribble ‘Ultra’ which you can buy as a TT or Tri machine; it was designed in conjunction with Dan.
“They sent the prototype to him and he’d send it back with suggestions and they did that back and forward until it was the way you see it now.
“It’s very aero and we’re running Walker Brothers wheels on it which are also fast.
“It’s a nice machine and mine has a custom ‘Saltire’ paint job, Dan’s has an English ‘Cross of Saint George’ colour scheme.
“I don’t have ceramic bearings yet but I’ve made positional changes and I’m using a waxed chain.
“Giro are our helmet sponsors and we have other sponsors who are right into the aerodynamic side of going fast, which is all good for the team.”
What’s next on the agenda?
“This weekend it’s the Anderside Classic Road Race at Strathaven, it uses part of ‘The Drummond’ course.”
[John duly won the Anderside Classic. ed.]
No National ‘25’ then?
“No, I won the CTT ‘25’ championships so that’s the box ticked.
“The Anderside Classic is a well-established, hard race with a good prize list so it attracts a good entry from English riders.
“Then there’s the CTT Circuit Time Trial Championship over 20 miles near Bridlington on June 9th.
“The British Cycling Time Trial Championship is in the north east of England too, this year but they haven’t confirmed the course details yet.
“I’m keen to take that seriously this year, go down, recce the course and be well prepared for it.
“I’ll also ride the British road race champs which are in the same area.”
Here at VeloVeritas we were chatting to Paul Hart who recently broke the British ‘50’ record; is that an distance you’d consider?
“No, whilst I enjoy a road race that’s just too long for a solo effort.”
What are the 2018 goals?
“I’ve achieved the first one which was to ride well at the Commonwealth Games; next is the British Time Trial Championship.
“After that and going into the winter and the track season it’ll be to get myself established as a team pursuit rider.”
The Scottish Hour Record must be something you’ve thought about?
“It’s something Kyle Gordon has spoken about a lot – I think I’d like to see someone else go for it first before I considered it.
“It’s not something you can play at.
“My team mates at KGF have spoken about it, perhaps going to altitude for an attempt on the world record?
“It’s something I’ll look at eventually.”
With thanks to John and wishing him ‘all the best’ for his forthcoming British title bids.