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Katie Archibald – “You’ve got to learn to be a leader”

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This 23 year-old is a force of nature and has to be one of our best medal hopes at the Commonwealth Games; she’s been rampant recently in the European Championships and World Cups; Ms. Katie Archibald recently kindly took time to speak to VeloVeritas about her autumn adventures and her future ambitions:

The European Championships and gold in the omnium – congratulations. That new format with no timed events is certainly agreeing with you but it must be an exhausting exercise?

“I like the new format.

“Exhausting it is. I think the day after feels worse mainly because it spans across the whole day so your eating gets a bit messed up as well.

“But that’s bike racing…”

The Euros, gold again in the individual pursuit – please remind us of your times and are there faster to come?

“I qualified in a 3:28.0 and won the final in a 29.

“I’ve ridden a 28 three times now so yes, looking for a change… in one direction.

“Next individual pursuit I ride will be at track Nationals in late January – a hit out for any of the home nation riders looking to ride IP at the Commonwealth Games; I think it’ll be a competitive year.”

The Euros and silver: team pursuit – that was some work load you had, perhaps a little tired for this one?

“Team pursuit was the first event of the week, I was fresh and riding well.

“We just hadn’t quite pieced the team together for this race and we weren’t strong enough for gold.”

Katie Archibald
Photo©PA

Then Madison winner at the World Cup, tell us about that please.

“I was riding with Elinor Barker (World Points Race Champion and my pursuit teammate from Rio); it was a fun race, I came off [the track] elated.

“It was 80 laps duration (the UCI minimum) whereas Euros and Worlds are 120 laps, where lap gains are more likely.

“We expected it to be contested in sprints, but never “off” in between.

“As a pair, Elinor is the longer rider, she’s able to hurt people in the back end of a race and has a long sprint whereas I’ve got a faster absolute speed but tend to burn my matches too early and just try to hold on back end.

“I’m telling you this for reference but it doesn’t come into consideration for our tactics plan; we just knew we had to keep at the front end of the race and that if there was a lull, to attack – not to gain a lap but to anticipate/nullify another team’s move. Attacking as a defence really.”

You race A LOT but seem to thrive on it…

“I hate training.” [right! ed.]

Do you actually have to train much given the amount of racing you do?

“Yes!”

Canada and the next World Cup, which disciplines are you riding?

“The points race and the Madison with Eleanor Dickinson. Eleanor will be riding the omnium.” (It almost goes without saying that Katie won both of her races in Canada, pairing with Eleanor Dickinson in the Madison, ed.)

Aren’t the long haul flights heavy-going?

“West is best, it’s getting to stay up until 3am and not getting into trouble.

“Then lying in until 11am and still not getting into trouble.”

Katie Archibald
Katie had another successful Euro Championships. Photo© SWpix.com

What’s the programme between the World Cup and The Track Worlds?

“No more travelling.

“The available races are: Manchester Revolution, track Nationals, omnium Nationals.

“Of course I could maybe go to the odd European race but it’s not currently on the agenda.”

It’s quite a tricky one, isn’t it – peaking for the Worlds then the Commonwealth Games falling just weeks later?

“Yep, and most of the Australian squad have decided to focus their efforts on just the Commie Games (Australia are taking only tiny squads round the World Cups (which you need to ride to qualify for worlds) so it seems like they’ll only be sending a small handful of riders to worlds).

“That’s the way the calendar falls, though, so I’ve planned my training for the best outcome.

“Hopefully!”

Which events will you be riding at The Worlds and Games?

“At the Worlds I’d like to make selection for the omnium, madison and team pursuit. I feel confident about my ability to bring something to the pursuit team but the bunch race places are pretty open.

“At the Commonwealths I’ll likely be riding everything I can: individual pursuit, scratch race, points race, road time trial, road race. I think it’s an Australian saying, actually; ‘Throw enough shit at the wall and some of it will stick.’ (But make no mistake, your wall’s still covered in shit.)”

Katie Archibald
Katie Archibald – World Champion! Photo©BritishCycling

Have you to keep an eye on your brother, John on The Gold Coast?

“I feel the entire Scottish cycling scene has that covered.”

The criterium championships – were you surprised to win?

“Rude!

“I was surely one of the favourites going into that race?”

[Sorry Katie, that lassie never misses us !, ed.]

Will we see more of you on the road in 2018?

“Yes, in a domestique role for Wiggle High5.

“I’m very excited; you’ve got to learn to be a leader somehow.”

What are the goals for 2018?

“My goals work in winter/summer cycles;

“2017/8 winter goals = Worlds and Commonwealth medals.

“2018 summer goals I’m not currently inclined to disclose…

“2018 European’s are being held as a multi-event championships meaning that road and track Euros are both at the same time, in August.

“This is really early for track (usually October) which makes me wonder if I can make GB road selection.

“But they’re being held in Glasgow, so my pride wants to go for track and do what I’m good at with a home crowd.

“We’ll see…”

Katie Archibald
Katie in action in the last Commonwealth Games individual pursuit in Glasgow. Photo©Martin Williamson

Whilst suitably chastened, yet again, we always love to hear what Katie has to say.

Wishing her every success up to and including the Apeldoorn Worlds and Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 45 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, team manager, and 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. 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.

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