Friday, May 27, 2022
HomeInterviewsKatie Archibald - "The best time to be 'ready for Rio' is...

Katie Archibald – “The best time to be ‘ready for Rio’ is 11th August”


Katie ArchibaldShe may have missed out on the 2016 London Worlds but Katie Archibald certainly IS going to Rio for the 2016 Olympic Games in the team pursuit for Great Britain.

Injured in ‘that’ motorbike crash prior to the Worlds she’s fought her way back to fitness and it’s confirmed that she’ll be in the GB line up for the 4,000 metre team pursuit.

We first interviewed Ms. Archibald back in 2013 and have kept abreast of her results since – but Olympic selection is special so we thought we best ‘have a word.’

Congratulations, Katie – how and when were you advised of your selection for Rio?

“We were notified 10 days before the official announcement, by telephone.

“We were told the news of our selection was embargoed (a very fun word to say over and over – embargoed, embargoed…) so it’s poor show that the selection got leaked early.”

Was there elation or relief or some other emotion when you heard?

“Warm and fuzzy?

“The formal nature of selection was a chance to reflect on the journey to that point which felt nice.”

Katie Archibald
Katie Archibald.

‘That crash’ – your first thoughts/emotions when you stopped sliding up the road – was Rio in your mind?

“The Hong Kong world cup was in a month so that was on my mind.

“I thought I would just feel stiff in the morning because I stood up straight away – presumably adrenaline pumping.

“I was more focused on seeing if the bike was still rideable (it wasn’t).

“I was really in denial for a day and a half until I started getting x-rays and MRI scans showing the damage.”

Tell us about your fight back to full fitness after the crash.

“It went unbelievably well.

“My main struggle was convincing the people protecting me that I was ready to push on.

“I didn’t have any major setbacks because I followed a really well managed and constantly evolving rehab programme with the help of British Cycling.

“It was tough to see the World Champs in London slip away because I really thought I’d be ready, but I’ve benefited from having that time training.”

Was there a ‘marker’/’standard’ you had to achieve to be pronounced ‘ready for Rio?’

“Yes we have Rio targets.

“The best time to be ‘ready for Rio’ is 11th August I believe.”

Katie Archibald
Katie in time trial mode at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Photo©Martin Williamson

How do you feel now, all the aches and pains gone?

“Just the normal aches and pains of all you other cyclists.”

When do you head out to Rio – and what’s the schedule like between now and then?

“We travel roughly a week before race day.

“Before that, the entire squad is based together training in Newport.

“I’ve been told school kids come and watch some training sessions to make it feel racey – sounds fun.”

Have you seen/tested the new bikes/clothing for Rio, yet – do you get the mega carbon fibre ‘slipper’ shoes?

“I’ve been riding the new shoes for a while now: love them.

“That’s all I’ve tested though.”

Any comment on those US girl’s new bikes for Rio?

“Pretty crazy!

“It’s fun to have that kind of stuff going on, it feels like the stories you hear of back in the day when riders like Obree were innovating bike design for the hour record.

“I feel kind of special to be involved in a rivalry like that.”

Have you seen videos/had feedback on the Rio track, yet?

“I’ve seen photos of someone riding it so that’s good news. (Construction of the track was so far behind schedule that an Olympic ‘test’ meeting was unable to be held, ed.)

“I gather some of the frills are missing but we’re used to peeing in bushes at the side of the road already so I don’t think it’ll be the end of the world.”

Katie Archibald
Katie just off the podium with a lap to go in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Road Race. Photo©Martin Williamson

Tell us about your second place in the Fenioux Omnium in France; that’s the only result we can see for you, this year.

“Yep, our whole team has just been training. Laura Trott is racing a couple omniums before the Games for race practice and I went with her to that one because I’m the omnium reserve.

“I would only ride the omnium in very, very extreme circumstances but you always need a back up.

“So I was happy enough to come second to her in Paris and get the chance to race the French champion Berthon.

“It’s a wide track as well so flying lap times are fast (you get more height to drop from) and I got a new PB in 14.0.”

Your blog – ‘Katie Archibald Learns to Live‘ some big gaps in there – and no mention of ‘that’ crash that I could see?

“My other hobbies are painting my nails and listening to podcasts: they have also suffered whilst I’ve been preparing for an Olympic Games.”

Your take on the ‘Shane Sutton Saga’ please?

“I’ve not really got one.

“I didn’t have many personal dealings with Shane because when I got onto the squad (November 2013) he was shifting into management and away from coaching so I never had that bond a lot of the older riders do.

“My perspective is moulded by the same means as all the other pundits reading stories in the press so I don’t believe I’m a respectable source for comment.”

Katie Archibald
Proving her versatility, Katie is super-strong on the track too. Photo©Martin Williamson

And have you selected a hair colour for Rio yet?


We wish Katie and Callum Skinner – also selected for Rio – all the very best for Rio and will be monitoring their progress closely.

Ed Hood
Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 47 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, a team manager, and a sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days for some of the world's top riders. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Craig Maclean – Totally Focused on Beijing

It would have been his 13th Worlds; but for the first time since 1996 there will be no one from Granton-on-Spey on the British track team, when the series kick off in Manchester in a week-or-so. VeloVeritas caught up with Craig Maclean on the day 'The Guardian' told us that he won't be pulling on a GB 'speed suit' for the team or individual sprints.

Vittoria Bussi – on Breaking the World Hour Record in 2018

We thought it would good to talk with the previous ‘Woman of the Hour,’ Ms. Bussi about her record of 48.007 kilometres set on September 13th 2018 at high altitude on the boards of the Aguascalientes velodrome in Mexico.

Katie Archibald – the new World Omnium Champion!

Once again we’re proud to bring you an exclusive interview with Olympic Team Pursuit Champion, Katie Archibald where she tells us about her latest triumph, in the World Omnium Championship – and puts us chauvinists at VeloVeritas securely in our box! But we still respect and love the lady.

Tony Gibb – Eurosport Commentator and Bike Racer

Tony Gibb had been a classy track rider since the mid-90’s, winning medals at the British Championships since 1998 in the Scratch Race and the Points Race, but he hit the headlines in 2002 when he won the bronze medal in the Manchester Commonwealth Games Scratch Race and then went on to win silver in the same discipline at the World Championships in Ballerup that year. The Middlesex man holds the record of four victories in the prestigious early season Eddie Soens Memorial road race in the UK and he has won nine British Championships in his career - so far, he’s not finished yet.

Marianne Berglund – “Winning the Worlds really launched me in the USA”

She only started cycling to connect with a cute guy… that never happened but she did go on to win a World Road Race Championship and more than 100 races. Swedish-born but now a resident of the USA, Ms. Marianne Berglund took time recently to speak to us.

The VV View: It’s Easy to Join ‘the Black List’

The Black List... It's been a good week if you read the Guardian's cycling coverage and like a rant. 'I'm better than Armstrong now,' says Wiggins - reads the headline; of all the bike riders in the world that one should not make that statement about, Lance Armstrong is the absolute top of the list.

At Random

Kyle Gordon – 2nd in the Nations Cup in Saint Petersburg

With few Scottish events to choose from, Kyle Gordon decided he should take things into his own hands and travel a bit to get a race – but maybe he took things a bit too far? Saint Petersburg, formerly ‘Leningrad,’ Russia on the Baltic Sea’s Gulf of Finland…

Dooleys Cycles at the Tour Nivernais Morvan – Day 2

After yesterday's baptism of fire in 35 degrees heat, the Scots boys were more at home today in the Tour Nivernais Morvan; the temperature had fallen to 15 degrees and it was pouring with rain.

Humbie Mountain Time Trial 2010

Stuart Moran (Perth United) made it a successful trip to East Lothian for the Humbie Mountain Time Trial 2010 today, taking the win over a hard two-lap circuit by 20 seconds.

Magicshine MJ-816 Review – Front Light Set

Here in the UK we've been hammered recently by the weather; for the last few weeks Scotland in particular has resembled an Arctic landscape, with blizzards, white-outs, and motorways frozen closed for days - any bike riding that's been done has been in the garage on the rollers, or spinning down the at the gym. The last few days however, have seen a significant rise in temperature and the resultant thaw has us getting the overshoes looked out again, and the lights back on the bike, ready for recommencing the daily commute, training, and some off-road night riding too.

Gary Coltman – ‘Head of Performance’ with Scottish Cycling

With the recent appointment of Gary Coltman as Head of Performance at Scottish Cycling, VeloVeritas thought it would be interesting to learn about the man and his plans – here’s what he had to say to us:

Vic Haines – “I was pissed off with Obree, but I’m not now”

Vic Haines - does the name ring a bell? If you're into time trialling you'll know him as a long-term sponsor in English cycling and a multiple tandem time trial record holder. Closer to home you'll recognise him as the man who organised Graeme Obree's successful Hour Record attempt in Hamar, Norway. But his controversial 'split' with Obree came not long after the Scottish phenomenon had eclipsed Italian legend, Francesco Moser's record - with, according to Haines, the new Ayrshire Hour Record holder due him a lot of money. We thought a chat with the man might be worthwhile...