Faster with Dr Hutch - Katie Archibald on breaking down track events

Aiming for complete precision and the hidden patterns within a Madison race

Faster podcast with Dr Hutch
(Image credit: Stripped media)

For this week’s episode of Faster, I’m talking to GB track star Katie Archibald She’s Olympic champion in the team pursuit, and a world champion in team pursuit, Omnium and Madison.

Katie is one of the most distinctive track racers riding at the moment, and someone with a reputation as an intelligent rider, one who analyses what she’s doing pretty carefully. That’s why I wanted to talk to her about how she and the team break-down track events to figure out how to improve their chances.

Even in what looks like the pure chaos of the two-rider Madison relay, there are patterns to be found, patterns which a smart team can uncover and take advantage of. 

“For example, one of the things we found when we went through lots and lots of races,” Katie tells me, “is that the team leading going into a sprint lap is almost always the team that wins the sprint.” That’s a very a counter-intuitive but distinctly useful thing to know.

In the flagship team pursuit event, she tells me about achieving the sheer precision that’s required, and what it’s like to be able to understand everything about how a teammate is feeling from just looking at the way their hips move.

As well as Katie, I talk to British Cycling performance analyst Steph Blair, and hear from her about the ways the team can help riders improve both physical performance and tactical decision-making.

And Katie and I discuss the stupidity of the ten-day week I invented in 2002 in an attempt to get more training done.

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