John Archibald could only manage seventh place in qualifying for the individual pursuit at his track worlds debut in Poland today. The Scot faded to a 4-14.7 minute ride, five seconds slower than the British record he set at the national champs in Manchester in January.
His ride was hotly anticipated after his 4-09 minute IP on his way to winning the national title just five weeks ago. But in the end he wasn’t able to recreate that ride on the Pruszkow velodrome that has now seen some of the fastest pursuiting times in history set on it’s boards.
“I’m still trying to put my finger on what went wrong, just from start to finish I could feel myself getting weaker the whole way through, there’s no particular reason why,” he said.
He admitted that it was a big change coming in to the British set up and all the support that is on offer, but that didn’t explain his ride. “I’ve been out of my comfort zone, whether that’s been a factor I don’t know. It’s unusual to crack like that. It wasn’t like I was a second off my best, I was a long way, so something drastically went wrong.”
The track was once again running fast in qualifying as Italian Filippo Ganna set a new sea level record with a 4-09.456, just two tenths of a second off of Ashton Lambie’s world record that was set at altitude at the Aguascalientes track in Mexico.
Germany’s Domenic Weinstein also dipped under four minutes 10 seconds as riders continue to make big gains in the event.
Archibald will now have a short break before his road season starts, giving him time to plan his development on the track. Self coached and with only two years of racing under his belt he hasn’t given up on further improvements or further selection for Great Britain. “There’s work I can do. I’ve not worked at it properly before. I only realised how much of a weakness it was when I did the World Cups over the winter and by that point you’re relying on training you’ve already done and you can’t really make progress.”
“My start is a weakness, my top end speed is a weakness so lets work on those. I’m a bit on the diesel side of it at the moment and need to find some peak power.”