John resets as goals shifted by lockdown

Milngavie cyclist John Archibald has seen the Covid-19 crisis apply the brakes to the goals he had at the start of the year.

Thursday, 9th July 2020, 12:30 pm
John Archibald has been training hard despite the absence of competition

But the against-the-clock specialist is hoping that the timing will be right for him to soon get back on his bike in a competitive sense.

Cycling is better off than most sports in that some level of normal training on the roads has been possible.

But the 29-year-old admits that, as in any professional sport, training without specific goals in mind is far from ideal.

He said: “There’s two sides to it. It’s felt like the last two or three years have been flat out between the road season and the track season without any sort of break.

“Normally I’d spend a lot of time on the track at the velodrome, or in the gym and those kinds of places are closed.

“But fortunately in the UK we’re allowed to ride on the roads - some of the European countries have been in lockdown to the point where they can only ride indoors on stationary trainers.

“So from that point of view not too much changed and I’ve been able to get a lot of miles in.

“When everything came to a halt in February and March you had a two or three-week period when you felt a bit down in the dumps and sorry for yourself.

“But there’s then a much-needed reset where you go ‘Right, OK. We’ve got a three or four-month period where there’s no racing’ and you have to set your sights on new goals.

“Most people have looked at it that way. Maybe nothing will happen this season but you have to keep something in mind to keep training for because the goals become very important when you are training and keep you motivated and doing things you wouldn’t necessarily do if you didn’t have these big races.”

With many sports now tentatively emerging from lockdown, Archibald is hopeful of some competitive action by the end of the year, and reckons his speciality of time trialling could work to his advantage.

He said: “When you look at things like time trials where the staff required, the officials required and the way riders can present themselves and race it seems more manageable to do that within social distancing rules. So I’d imagine that will be first to appear.

“But the fact that they’ve confirmed the World Championships and the Tour de France is definitely going to go ahead, things like that.

“If the top tier of the sport is putting these things into place you’d imagine it’s going to filter down to lower levels.”