The famous mullet may be gone – but unlike Samson, the strength has remained. Kiwi flyer, Shane Archbold was one of the ‘Men of the Games’ – medalling (God ! I hate that expression) in the team pursuit and scratch before setting Jack Bauer up for silver in the Vietnamese Rainy Season Sunday which hosted the Games road race.
The man in black’s first result of note came in 2004 – runner up in the New Zealand novices’ road race.
A year later and he won the novices time trial title – but within a year was a Worlds Junior Team Pursuit silver medallist.
In 2007 he won the national junior pursuit title and picked up a host of road wins in New Zealand in 2008.
In 2009 there was a road win at Lancy in Switzerland.
But it was the 2010 season when things really took off with World Cup success in the omnium.
In 2011 there was more World Cup successes in the omnium not to mention a silver medal at the Worlds in the discipline.
He also took a stage in the tough Mi-Aout Bretonne stage race.
More French success followed in 2012 with a stage win in Tour de la Dordogne.
Last season saw in the colours of AN Post a crop of New Zealand track medals and a stage win in the Ras.
Before his Games successes in 2014 he’s obtained top placings in races as diverse as the Ras and Tour of Azerbaijan.
Shane kindly took the time to answer VeloVeritas‘s questions about his own and the New Zealand squad’s great performances in the Commonwealth Games.
Tell us about that win in the scratch – silver medallist Aussie, O’Shea isn’t slow…
“Oh, he’s most definitely not – he is far from slow, I’ve had many races against my Belgium room mate Glenn.
“But it was my time to shine.
“To win that scratch race was simply amazing its been a long time coming to make the top step and hear my national anthem played.
“I guess you can gather that with my rather over the top celebration.”
Team pursuit bronze, happy with that? – and a 4:00?
“Firstly just to make the starting line-up in the team pursuit, that’s always a hard task when you’re from New Zealand or one of the other great team pursuiting nations around the world.
“The team was disappointed to not be riding for gold but at least there are things to work on for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.”
What was Peter Kennaugh saying about your riding in the points race – which your team mate Tom Scully won?
“Peter wasn’t happy with second place and the tactics of the New Zealand team.
“I simply did my job and did it well enough as I wasn’t disqualified and was there to help Tom win and Aaron Gate to the bronze medal.
“That was a great feeling to be there and help my team mates win medals, and not be one of the riders disqualified for breaking the rules.”
That was a hell of a job you did for Jack Bauer on the streets of Glasgow.
“Doing what I did for Jack in that road race was surprise even to myself, I didn’t have any time to prepare for the road race as focus was completely on the team pursuit for me.
“To be able to do a job like that and see Jack in a position to win the race was simply amazing.
“It couldn’t have worked out any better; Its always a joy of mine to put myself on the line for a team mate and see them succeed.”
Are the Games a still big deal in New Zealand?
“The Commonwealth Games are a huge deal to the New Zealand public – it’s live on many channels back home.
“It was great to be able to win for all those viewers.
“Unfortunately for me I don’t get to go home with my gold medal and show it off for another six weeks.”
How did AN Post feel about your riding the Games?
“Kurt – my director at AN Post – was more than happy to release me and five of my team mates to represent our respective countries.
“Thankfully for us it was in July in which An Post don’t have any UCI races so I didn’t miss any racing.”
A great Games for New Zealand – why?
“It was New Zealand’s most successful Commonwealth Games outside of New Zealand across all sports.
“This is put down to our motivation, determination and never-say-die attitude.”
It must have been a cool post Games party?
“Well, unfortunately for me I didn’t get to celebrate with the fellow track riders as I had the road race at end of the games.
“I did get to go out with the road boys for one night before I was on the plane back to Belgium and training for the rest of the road season.”
Will we see you in the World Cups, this winter – which disciplines?
“All going to plan I’ll be riding two of the three World Cups this season just not 100% sure which ones as of yet.
“Hopefully in the team pursuit but I may also have a dabble in the omnium.
“I’ll have to check in and see what BikeNZ have installed for me.”
Are your omnium days at an end?
“With the changes to the omnium taking place it definitely doesn’t suit the type of rider I am – with the points race being longer and more important but I wouldn’t say my omnium days are at an end.
“Who knows what’s around the corner?”
With thanks to Shane and congratulations again on a great Games.