‘I’ve been competing for air time on the family WhatsApp’: Katie Archibald column

'What’s a win at the Poland GP when your brother is on the podium at the World Champs?'

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I’m writing in the foyer of a hotel in Poland, listening to classical music. I don’t have a particular taste for classical but I can’t convince my brain not to focus on others’ conversations when I’m in a public space, so I play something instrumental in my headphones to counteract it. The less enchanting, the better, lest I become interested in the music. I have this column because I can ride a bike fast, not for my cultural takes, and I think that’s something you should have figured out by yourself before now.

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The conversations in this particular public space are in Dutch, a language I do not speak but which I’m still unconsciously nosey enough to not tune out. I think they’re having a good time, but who knows. Would they be laughing this much if what they’re saying is life is meaningless and everything dies? I suppose it’s possible.

We’ve all just finished three days of racing at the Poland GP. “We” are a chunk of the British women’s track team, both sprint and endurance, and including various other nations. I’m just back from getting pizza with the Swiss, 
a Dane, a German and my lovely British team-mates. Pizza for dinner is no wild night out, but with the European Track Championships in three weeks’ time, it’s extravagant enough.

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This event was our chance for a hit out before the Europeans and it’s certainly met our needs with three or four races on each of the three days. Neah Evans (last week’s featured star as Least Loyal House-mate) and I won the final event, the Madison – the race I was most looking forward to.

Neah also won the omnium, me the points race, and one of the happy laughing Dutch (Mylene De Zoete) the scratch race. I’m contented having ended on a high, but I’ve been competing for air time on the family WhatsApp group with my brother. What’s a win at the Poland GP when your brother is on the podium at the World Champs?

This Katie Archibald column originally appeared in the print edition of Cycling Weekly, on sale in newsagents and supermarkets, priced £3.25.