“Manon and I are sharing a room and plotting the downfall of what were last month our team-mates but this month our rivals”
Olympic and world champion, Katie Archibald got into cycling after winning handicap races on a Highland Games grass track. She writes a column for Cycling Weekly each week
Myself and Manon Lloyd have inadvertently found ourselves on a Team England camp.
If you’ve not heard of Manon Lloyd (which could only sound more Welsh if I lied and said her middle name was Rugby) she’s a track cyclist from Carmarthen (Wales). To understand this story you should know that I’m from Milngavie (Scotland).
We are British Cycling team-mates. Our highlights reel would mainly feature us winning Madison gold together at the Glasgow World Cup in 2016.
We are on a pre-Commonwealth Games “home nations” camp, but through total fluke most of the Welsh and Scottish riders (such as Elinor Barker, Mark Stewart, Neah Evans…) ended up with training commitments that took them elsewhere.
So instead it’s 10 English riders, me, and Manon. I hadn’t noticed until I was reassured that we shouldn’t feel out of place. This made me feel incredibly out of place.
Manon and I are sharing a room and plotting the downfall of what were last month our team-mates but this month our rivals. This is a comical and adorable thing for us to do.
Were it to come from a Team England member I would wonder if their pitbull was on a lead and which branch of the EDL they were associated with. This is an unfair truth.
This week it’s a GB training camp but next week we really do all disband from being the Great Britain Cycling Team and return to our home nations. For me this means joining the track endurance riders in Glasgow.
That’s Neah Evans, Eileen Roe, Mark Stewart, John Archibald and Kyle Gordon.
I’ve only really listed the men so you’ll notice that one of them is my brother who has also been selected.
Some trivia for you: Mark Stewart’s sister-in-law, Robyn Stewart, will be riding at the Games as a sprinter for Northern Ireland and at the last Games his brother, Kevin Stewart, was present as a Team Scotland coach. This means the Stewarts are one up on us Archibalds.
I’m hoping that before the next Games my brother will have married a cyclist from a Commonwealth nation and the Archibalds will be more competitive than ever.