Reigning world champion Katie Archibald will not ride the Madison at the UCI track cycling world championships on Saturday (March 2).
Archibald crashed in the omnium points race on the previous evening, and although she was able to continue she has since developed a concussion and has therefore been pulled from the event.
Elinor Barker who won the scratch race on the opening day, will take her place and ride with worlds debutant Neah Evans.
“After an initial assessment from our Doctor on the track, [Katie] was deemed fit to carry on racing,” explained British Cycling Performance director Stephen Park.
“However, a reassessment this morning showed Katie has developed signs of concussion and therefore has been withdrawn from the Madison on Medical Advice.”
“The welfare of our athletes is paramount, and we have a concussion policy in place to follow when such incidents occur.”
Archibald herself was brutal in her self-assesment following the omnium where she finished seventh despite the heavy fall that left her with a nasty cut and swelling on her left elbow. “What’s worst is I don’t feel bad, I’ve just been so consistently ungraceful,” she said afterwards, even going on to question her position on the squad.
“I still tapered for a world championships the same as everyone else, I’ve sat there with form and I’ve just chucked it down the toilet. We’re usually bragging about our strength in depth, but at moments like this it means I’ll be out.”
Elinor Barker will now ride with Neah Evans. Barker won a Madison silver medal with Emily Nelson at the 2017 world championships, while Evans is making her debut at this level after a breakthrough year in 2018.
The Scot only started racing the Glasgow track league in 2014. Her rapid rise saw her win team pursuit gold at the European championships last year and take an omnium bronze at the recent world cup in Paris.
Archibald had herself been a last minute replacement for double Olympic champion in the Omniun, Laura Kenny who admitted after the women’s team pursuit to a unexplained loss of form.
Now Archibald will miss the event she has dominated since it was introduced to the women’s program in 2017.
She has ridden six international level Madisons and won all of them. Always partnered with a rider with a faster sprint, Archibald’s strength has seen her not only win, but dominate many of the Madisons she has ridden.
In an interview with Cycling Weekly magazine at the end of last year she said of the Madison; “It feels like this is what I’ve been waiting for. The truth is I’m a lot better at pursuiting, but when it comes to race day, I wish I was good at points and Madison racing.”