Wednesday, October 27, 2021
HomeInterviewsJohn Archibald - Breaking Course Records with Big Margins

John Archibald – Breaking Course Records with Big Margins

"On and up and down course like The Meldons it’s hard to have an idea of what watts you should be putting out in the race."

-

Two course records obliterated within days of each other over the Easter weekend? It could only be that man John Archibald (Ribble Pro Cycling). It’s good to see he’s put a disappointing Worlds pursuit behind him – and the margins he’s breaking course records by takes VeloVeritas back to those ‘Obree Days’ when every weekend produced another ‘wow!

We had a word…

John Archibald
John Archibald in action at the Tour of the Meldons. Photo©Martin Williamson

The Meldons and 2:26 off your own 2017 course record with a 50:42, a nice result, congratulations John Archibald.

“Thanks, I always tend to go out too hard on that course, the climb is grippy then there was a head wind down the valley so it was a hard day for a time trial, it was sunny but I was getting blown around with that deep section front wheel.”

How do you judge pace on a day like that?

“It’s difficult; on a dual carriageway you can think that it’s so many miles into the head wind then it’ll be a tail wind back for that number of miles so you can gauge it but on and up and down course like The Meldons it’s hard to have an idea of what watts you should be putting out at that point in the race.”

And you broke the Buxton Mountain Time Trial course record too – by five minutes.

“Yes, I enjoyed that event, I judged my pace much better in that one; it’s three laps of an 11 mile circuit and I was doing 60 kph on the descent.

“I think it was Stuart Dangerfield had the record with a 1:22 and I did 1:17:09 – but someone said Matt Bottrill may have gone faster?”

[We checked, Stuart Dangerfield did have the record with 1:22:13 set in 2003, Matt Bottrill did 1:22:17 in 2017, ed.]

John Archibald
John’s aero tuck. Photo©Martin Williamson

That’s a radical position you’re riding; your forehead is so close to your hands.

“Where Martin photographed me on the climb, yes – because the speed is lower but on faster sections I have to lift my head a bit so I can see further ahead.”

How does your time trial position compare to your track position – and what length cranks do you ride?

“The stack height is a wee bit higher on the road bike; I ride 165 mil. cranks on road and track – and that’s not to do with science, it’s just because I feel most comfortable on them.”

You were on a double chainring set up, do you still run the 58 big ring?

“I was running 42/56 and everything worked fine, gears-wise – Kyle Gordon uses a single ring set up but I don’t think it’s optimal because you have to use a massive sprocket at the rear to get a low enough ratio for the stiff climbs.”

What’s next up?

“I have the Tour of Yorkshire at the beginning of May – I expect that to be an eye opener and after that my focus will be on the British Cycling National Time Trial Championship.

“Before that I have three rounds of the Tour Series criteriums to ride; Motherwell, Aberdeen and Durham – I’ve never ridden crits before but they should suit me with their over/just under threshold nature – I look at how well Katie has adapted to them and Harry Tanfield goes well in them too…

“But they’re different for sure, compared to a five hour road race but the Tour Series is also important for Tour of Britain qualification.”

How are you getting on with life in the ‘Derbados’ team house with Dan, Johnny and the Huub/Ribble guys?

“Good, yes.

“There are plusses and minuses, I’ve experienced university halls of residence so it’s no problem – a bit like being on a permanent training camp.

“You never get lonely and they’re all pretty characterful guys.”

John Archibald
John’s TT and Pursuit positions are pretty similar. Photo©Getty Images

What about ‘off-duty’ John Archibald?

“There’s not much time for that, everything revolves around The Europeans or the Commonwealth Games and now we’re in the Olympic cycle.

“Perhaps after that I’ll have more time for life outside of cycling?”

I was reading the, ‘thoughts of Chairman Dan’ regarding a mass Huub/Ribble attack on world records at the high altitude Aguascalientes Velodrome in Mexico…

“Yes, we’re all looking forward to that, no time has been formally set but the funds are in place and we’re probably looking at August time.

“The big goal is the team pursuit record but if things work out we’ll be going for other records, too.”

[Huub/Ribble main man and ‘aero guru’ Dan Bigham has mentioned John’s name in connection with an attempt on the world hour record, ed.]

Did you watch Victor Campenaerts successful attempt on The Hour?

“Yes, very impressive, he wasn’t scared of Wiggins distance and went out early doing 16.1 and 16.2 laps – Wiggins was on 16.4 pace.

“He had to reign himself in a little bit but it’s going to be a difficult distance to crack.

“It’s something we’re looking at and something I’m very interested in but the team pursuit world record is the main one for us.”

Have you considered the big late season Euro time trials – the Chrono Madelenois in September and Chrono des Nations in October?

“They’re very interesting but I don’t think they’re going to happen because that’s into UCI track World Cup season.

“But it would be nice to ride a big international time trial though, my last one was the Commonwealth Games which didn’t go well for me with having the crash.”

Nothing on this weekend?

“Just training then the Tour of Yorkshire, a wee bit of a trip into the unknown for me with World Tour teams there, I’ve never ridden at that level before so it’ll be interesting to see what it’s like”

We wish John well for Yorkshire and will keep an eye on those finishing sheets.

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

Loch Ken Time Trial – Kyle Gordon Keeps his Form

On a day which was a total contrast to last Sunday’s Monifieth polar conditions; with warm sunshine and a gentle breeze, Kyle Gordon (RT23) showed us that perishing or pleasant, he’s the man to beat on the Scottish time trial scene. Averaging 28.796 mph around the rolling, scenic 26.3 mile Loch Ken Time Trial course in the fourth round of six in the CTT Sigma Sports Classic Series.

Scottish 100 Mile Time Trial Championship 2007

A chilly, breezy but rapid Sunday morning on the roads alongside the Cromarty Firth saw Shetland's Carlos Riise reclaim the Scottish 100 Mile Time Trial Championship 2007 title he last won in 2004, with a personal best 3-51-43. This was Carlos's eighth hundred title, the man who ended his run of seven straight wins and who took the title in 2005, Jonathan Copp (Deeside) was not riding, neither was last year's champion and current record holder, Mark Atkinson (Sandy Wallace).

Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Championship 2013 – Iain Grant Two In A Row!

On one of those grey Scottish mornings where it looks like the sun might just break through - but it never does - Dooley's Iain Grant successfully defended his Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Championship 2013 title on the rolling A90 dual carriageway east of Laurencekirk on Sunday morning with a sparkling 50:46 course record.

Gordon Arms Hilly Time Trial 2014 Goes to Oliphant

Raleigh professional Evan Oliphant handled the age old dilemma of the pro racing against amateurs – if they don’t win they’re criticised, but if they do then it’s ‘expected’ – by taking the best option and winning the Gala CC’s Gordon Arms Hilly Time Trial over 20.5 cold and cloudy Borders miles in 50:06; some ways short of Mark Atkinson’s (Velo Ecosse) 1999 course record of 48:47 but enough to give him the result by 41 seconds over Carl Donaldson (GS Metro).

Gordon Arms Mountain Time Trial 2010

Alan Thomson (Glasgow Couriers) was run pretty close by his teammate Barry McGurk for the win in the Gordon Arms Mountain Time Trial, a hilly time trial run by the Gala CC near Melrose in the Scottish borders. With Euan Pope backing them up in fourth place, the team prize was never going anywhere else.

Stephen Williamson – Scottish 100 Mile TT Champion 2015

VeloVeritas has all you need to know about the new Scottish 100 Mile TT Champion; Mr. Stephen Williamson (a3crg) ... The 44 year-old Aerospace Programme Manager is living in Surrey now, but was born in Ayrshire, his family emigrating to South Africa in 1975, where Stephen did all his schooling and education, returning to the UK 23 years later. The course for the 100 was near his birthplace, which was a good reason to target the event...

At Random

Paul Gerrard – Riding Behind the Big Motors

Britain’s last representative in Motor-Paced racing, a highly specialised branch of the sport – which is still very popular in Germany and Switzerland in particular – was Paul Gerrard. Gerrard is still active in the sport, chaperoning young GB riders to the six days which have junior and U23 competitions.

Jonathan Dayus – “I just rode without asking myself too many questions”

There I was, researching Peter Doyle’s palmarès for his recent interview with us, checking out his big French win, in the Essor Breton. I was looking at the race’s roll of honour and was surprised to see that Englishman, Jonathan Dayus had won the race twice.

Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 21: Montgeron – Paris Champs-Élysées, 103km. Dylan Groenewegen strikes early

Former Dutch Champion, Dylan Groenewegen (LottoNL) struck out early on Stage 21 and held on for his seventh win of the season after stage wins in Dubai, Yorkshire, two in Norway and two in the Ster ZLM Tour. He’s had two sixth places, a fifth, a third and a second in this Tour but with that big hurdle called Kittel out of the way, this one belonged to him.

World Road Championships 2007 – Day 2: Elite Time Trial

World Road Championships 2007, Press Centre 09.45, I'm meant to have an interview with Hugh Porter at 10.00 and I'm looking forward to that. It's a wet day in Stuttgart, there are still nearly three hours until Simon Zahner of Switzerland rolls-down the ramp as first starter in the Elite time trial, let's hope that the skies have cleared by then, apart from me wanting to keep dry, a lot of the course will be damn dangerous if it's damp.

“Rising Westerly” 100 Mile Time Trial 2006

The results of the "Rising Westerly" 100 Mile Time Trial held on the Aberdeen/Stonehaven/Deeside course, and organised by GS Corsa. Carlos Riise (Shetland Wheelers) made another successful "air"“raid" on mainland cycling by comfortably winning the "Rising Westerly" by over 14 minutes from Granite City RT's Norman Skene. Sadly, Scottish 12hr Champion, Joe Wilson (Sandy Wallace Cycles) crashed at Aboyne and was forced to retire. Carlos reported that Joe was probably just over a minute up on him at the time.

Off to the Berlin Six Day 2011 – but first, a few thoughts

I'll be glad to get to the Berlin Six Day 2011 and enter my six day bubble - these last couple of weeks have affected me badly. I love the sport, all of it fascinates me, road, track, cyclo-cross; I'd get into mountain biking but I have to stop the reading, interviewing and writing, somewhere. Lance, Floyd, Alberto, Trent, Matt - and now, Graeme.