Pro cyclist interview: Britain's newest track star Katie Archibald

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Pro cyclist interview: Britain’s newest track star Katie Archibald

Scottish teenager speaks exclusively to RCUK at the Track World Cup in Manchester

Just two months ago, chances are very few people outside of Scottish cycling would have heard of Katie Archibald.

But in a matter of weeks, the pink-haired 19-year-old track talent has established herself as a serious contender for the future with a string of notable performances on the biggest stages, the most recent of which have been two medal winning performances at the Manchester round of the UCI Track World Cup.

Archibald finished third to Joanna Rowsell in the women’s individual pursuit tonight on the second day of competition at the national cycling centre, just 24 hours after claiming silver in the women’s scratch race, having seen off the challenge of all but one of a stellar field that included Wiggle-Honda stars Dani King and Italy’s Giorgia Bronzini.

Katie Archibald (right) won her second silver medal of the Manchester World Cup round by finishing second to Joanna Rowsell in the women’s individual pursuit. pic: Alex Broadway/SWpix.com

Archibald had impressed at the national championships, where she earned a silver medal in the madison with MG-Maxifuel’s Charline Joiner, and won a bronze in the individual pursuit.

Her performances were such she was selected as part of Great Britain’s world record breaking European team pursuit champions in Apeldoorn two weeks ago.

And she enhanced her growing reputation by earning a silver medal in the scratch race on the opening night of the UCI Track World Cup in Manchester before doubling her tally with silver in the individual sprint tonight.

Speaking to RCUK after her first World Cup medal, she said: “It’s been a big shock these last few weeks – suddenly you see yourself in the newspapers and on the news and it’s like you’re famous.

Suddenly you see yourself in the newspapers and on the news and it’s like you’re famous

“Apeldoorn two weeks ago was the biggest step up I’ve made. The Great Britain cycling team is so professional and as you have seen from their performances at the World Cup you are learning from the best.”

And having represented Scotland in Manchester, as she will hope to do in her home country at next year’s Commonwealth Games, she admitted it was a proud moment.

“Everyone loves the underdog, don’t they? It was just me and my performance guy down here, trying to scrape by and we’ve managed to get a silver medal.

“It was an exhausting night but, obviously, I’m really pleased with it.”

Archibald, right, burst on to the scene since impressing at the National Track Championships in September (pic: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

Having learned her trade on the heavy highland games circuits in Scotland, Archibald switched to the boards last year but remains modest about her rapid rise, saying: “I’ve just clawed my way up since then.”

While Archibald was competing for her trade team in Manchester, Great Britain’s women’s team pursuit squad shattered the world records set in Apeldoorn on their way to another gold medal.

And the Scot admits there was a sense of disappointment in seeing the record broken, but is now raring to get another go at setting a record of her own.

Every girl wants to be in the the women’s team pursuit team so I’m not the exception

“It was a bit disappointing to see the world record go,” she admitted. “But that was inevitable and it is just testament to how strong they are that the times just keep going down.

“Getting back in the team and trying to set a new world record – that’s the dream really. Every girl wants to be in that team so I’m not the exception.”

Among the riders she beat in the scratch race were Italian star Giorgia Bronzini, world championship silver medallist Sofia Arreolla Navarro, of Mexico, and Great Britain’s Dani King.

Archibald believes competing against such high class fields can only aid her development in the sport.

“Dani King was the strongest competitor in the scratch race, obviously she had just finished the team pursuit final beforehand so you could not expect too much from her but competing against them is what makes it all so great,” she said.

“The people at the top of the sport that you want to get the medals from are so accessible because they are all in Britain. It really is an advantage.”

And if she keeps up her current phenomenal rise, it can only be a matter of time before those medals belong to her too.

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SWPixcyclingphotos.com

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