Katie Archibald confident British Cycling can bounce back from a poor World Championship

Katie Archibald is competing at Manchester this weekend (pic by Sportsbeat)
Katie Archibald is competing at Manchester this weekend (pic by Sportsbeat)

Milngavie cyclist Katie Archibald insists British cycling remains in rude health ahead of the Tokyo Olympics despite a below-par performance at the recent World Championships.

A gold medallist at Rio 2016, Archibald was part of the team pursuit quartet that took silver behind Australia in Poland at the end of last month.

The narrow defeat to a potential rival in Japan left a sour taste in the mouth of the 25-year-old Scot, who admitted her disappointment at not topping the podium.

Sadly that was as good as the championships got for Katie who crashed in the multi-event omnium, sustaining injuries which ruled her out of her specvialist madison event.

There was also disappointment for other Team GB riders, including brother John, whose uncharacteristically below-par ride earned him just seventh place in the individual pursuit

But with Tokyo just over a year away, Archibald believes that strength in numbers across the board means that Britain’s cyclists are perfectly primed to challenge on all fronts come next summer.

“The strength in depth of British cycling is something you find us bragging about all the time,” she said. “A lot of the high-level riders are British.

“The World Championships maybe wasn’t the perfect reflection of that, it’s shown that we’ve still got team pursuit pedigree, but we’ve come away empty-handed in the omnium and Madison and beyond that we’re really disappointed with the way that we raced.

“I don’t think too much went wrong. We had the misfortune that we had one rider off her game and with that we didn’t follow through with our expectations coming in.

“The way that we were riding had given us a lot of confidence but that’s competitive sport, it makes things black and white. I don’t feel heavily disappointed and I think we’ve got every capability of challenging for the win, whether that’s next year or at the Olympics.

“I think there’s definitely progress to be made but if you look at the whole season we’ve definitely got the strength to go in tackling all three medals.”

A key part of the build-up to Tokyo will take place on the Six Day Cycling series circuit, with Archibald and a host of other stellar names including Jason and Laura Kenny set to do battle with top international riders in Manchester this weekend.

The chance to compete in front of a raucous home crowd is something that Archibald is relishing, particularly as Manchester’s National Cycling Centre holds a special place in her heart.

She added: “I vividly remember the first time I went to Manchester. You walk down the stairs into track centre and there’s a sign that says, ‘This moment is yours’. It sounds cheesy, but I really took it to heart.

“It’s infectious energy. When the crowd is having a good time, you’re having a good time. It’s the same with London, the noise is indescribable. It puts something in your chest to hear that many people screaming with joy or excitement.

“When I go back to race it really turns that sensation back on.

“It really does make you realise why you do it.”

Tickets for Phynova Six Day Manchester are on sale now from just £25. Visit https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/sixdaymanchester for more information.