Wednesday, October 27, 2021
HomeInterviewsJohn Archibald - CTT 25 Mile Champion with a 48:13

John Archibald – CTT 25 Mile Champion with a 48:13

"I won the CTT ‘25’ Championships so that’s the box ticked."

-

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.”

John Archibald
John negotiating one of the many roundabouts on the course. Photo©Albert McLennan

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.”

John Archibald
John’s Ribble sports a custom paint job, and very nice it is too. Photo©Albert McLennan

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.

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.

Related Articles

Chris Smart – Scottish Olympic and 10 Mile TT Champion for 2016

Yours truly didn’t make it to the Scottish Olympic or Ten Mile Time Trial Championships; unlike our editor, Martin who took excellent pictures at both races and framed reports. ‘I’ll interview both winners,’ said I, to make amends for life getting in the way of cycling. So my thanks extend to Chris Smart (GTR) for winning both events and making life easy for me.

Ron Gardiner – From East Lothian to Warsaw, via Berlin and Prague

Only once has an English speaker won the Peace Race – in 1952 Scotland’s own Ian Steel took the honours. We were fortunate at VeloVeritas to interview the great man before his death, last year and before we’re done we’d like to speak to all surviving Scots who’ve participated in this historic event. Sandy Gilchrist, Jimmy Rae, Martin Coll and Ken Clark have all been kind enough to give of their time to us; next on our agenda is former Scottish 50 mile record holder, Velo Sportiv stalwart and all-rounder, Mr. Ron Gardiner.

Mark Stewart – This Young Scot is British Points Race Champion 2014

At the next Commonwealth Games there’ll be no David Millar or ‘Jamesie’ and even the perennial Evan Oliphant might not make it to Gold Coast City, Australia in 2018. But Dundee’s Mark Stewart should be there; at just 19 he took sixth place in the 20 K Scratch Race in Glasgow behind New Zealand’s World’s Omnium medallist, Shane Archbold with the distance being covered in 22:43 @ 52.819 kph – that’s quick.

John McMillan – Reminiscing about the “Okolo Slovenska”

VeloVeritas interviewed Scottish Legend John McMillan, last year – doing some research into the 'Peace Race' recently we asked John if he’s ever ridden the Warsaw-Berlin-Prague. He said he hadn’t - but he had ridden the Okolo Slovenska, the seven day Tour of Slovakia, which in 1965 was part of Communist-controlled Czechoslovakia and which had the aim of celebrating the liberation of Slovakia by the Red Army in 1945.

John Archibald – 12 seconds off a podium spot at the British 25 Mile TT Championships

It’s not a lot of time is 12 seconds; around 250 metres at the speeds they go at these days; but that’s what separated Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Champion, John Archibald from the podium of the CTT National 25 mile championship in Wales on Sunday. That had to be the first question VeloVeritas asked; "Could you have found those seconds, John?"

Roddy Riddle – Taking on the Marathon des Sables, the 6633 Ultra, and Beyond

We were chatting about the Scottish Hour Record the other day and it got us to thinking about Roddy Riddle’s 1995 ride of 46.570 which broke Graeme Obree’s 1990 ride of 46.390 - and lasted one year until Jim Gladwell established the current best of 46.650 in 1996. ‘What’s Roddy up to now?’ we mused - the last we heard he was running across the Sahara in the Marathon des Sables. Transpires he’s participating in the 6633 Ultra. The what? Best ask him...

At Random

The famous Tour de France Roadbook

We often hear about how the riders at the Tour de France study "the Roadbook" to learn the final kilometres of a particular stage, or to identify which stage may be "the one" to go for, but what exactly does the Tour de France Roadbook contain, who uses it, and how useful is it, really? Published by ASO each year a few weeks before the Prologue and in several languages, the Roadbook is also known as the race "bible".

Giro d’Italia 2013 – Stage 16: Valloire – Ivrea 238km. We’re Here to See Intxausti Win

Wednesday morning, 09:55 the 'Milano by-pass' average speed around 10 mph. You only think you've seen traffic jams 'til you come to Northern Italy. And it's not helped by the fact that everyone thinks that it's their private fiefdom; the standard of driving is dire. We arrived late on the Monday rest day and after much messing around at the airport deciphered that our hire car was through an agency, so we had to tour the car hire offices 'til we got the right one.

Dave Hannah – Scottish ’25’ Champion Eight Times!

If you had to name one man who single handedly changed the face of Scottish time trialling? The man who made sure a ‘59’ wasn’t going to win you the ‘25’ champs anymore... Dave Hannah is the man; VeloVeritas caught up with him recently at his home in Shieldhill for a long overdue chat.

Shane Sutton – Compassionately Ruthless

Nine World and Eight Olympic titles; that's Team GB's haul for 2008 - so far, that is. That kind of excellence doesn't 'just happen,' who's behind it? The GB head coach is Aussie, Shane Sutton - he was still in Beijing the day after his squad's triumphant campaign ended, when we spoke to him.

Dave Dungworth – 1960’s ’25’ and ’50’ TT Champion – Twice

Dave Dungworth was just a little before my time but when I got into the sport back in 1970 his name was spoken in hushed tones as a twice holder of the ‘Holy Grail’ record in time trialling - the ’25.’ He was also twice a 30 mile record holder and twice a double champion, winning both the ‘25’ and ’50’ titles for two consecutive years.

Callum Watson – An introduction to the Rigmar Racers

The Rigmar Racers has been a Scottish Cycling and British Cycling affiliated club since 2001 when it was set up as a kids’ development club by Allister Watson five years before the BC Go Ride initiative. Since then the club has had a development role with riders such as Kevin Barclay, Eileen Roe, Callum Skinner, and latterly with Jenny Davis, Louise Haston, Charline Joiner, Kenny Ayre and of course Katie Archibald.