Katie Archibald column: On tour at home

'My mother has planned her watching logistics just as carefully as we have our racing logistics'

I’m in Glasgow ahead of the Tour of Scotland this weekend (August 9-11). It’s technically called the Women’s Tour of Scotland, but as there’s no Men’s Tour of Scotland I don’t really feel obliged to gender the race name in order to improve your comprehension of what it is.

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There does exist a Youth Tour of Scotland, in fairness. But in equal fairness if anyone has to attach a modifier to the start of their race name to clarify that it’s not that Tour of Scotland, it should be the youths, right? Their race might have existed first, but I already have to reference the fact that I’m a woman all the time (one of the biggest races on the UCI road calendar is called simply ‘The Women’s Tour’) and will never grow out of it. The youths need only be constantly reminded of the fact they’re youths, thus making it a massive part of their identity, for two years.

I thought I’d come up home a bit early and recce part of the second stage that goes from Glasgow to Perth. I can’t say I’m feeling confident about my first road race of the season in August, though, as a consequence of my mother’s enthusiasm, I am feeling excited. She’s planned her watching logistics just as carefully as we have our racing logistics.

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My mum retired a couple years ago and ended up falling into a job as my brother’s personal manager, travelling with him to bike races and the like. But now that John Archibald is a name you know, maybe even a name you know and associate with Derby-based team Huub-Wattbike powered by Vita Coco (a team name so long that only those related to you will consistently go to the effort of typing it out in full) he doesn’t take as much help from his Glasgow-based mother.

It’s really freed her up to focus on her main passion: supporting me.

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

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