Twenty-year-old Katie Archibald from Milngavie outside Glasgow has established herself in the all-conquering Great Britain team pursuit squad this season.
Having broken into the team last year, Archibald was part of the line-up for the World Championships in Cali, Colombia in the spring. She leapfrogged other contenders for the spot and settled in alongside Laura Trott, Joanna Rowsell and Elinor Barker.
Ever since, that quartet has looked more and more like the A-team. In Cali, Archibald, Trott, Barker and Rowsell qualified more than two seconds faster than the emerging Canadians. When the two nations met in the final the Canadians raised their game significantly, improving by more than five seconds, and pushed the British team to its limit. The four just about held on to their formation and won with a time of 4-23.407.
During the summer, Archibald continued her development on the road, winning the Cheshire Classic – part of the National Road Series – with an impressive solo escape. She added the first round of the Matrix Grand Prix Series in Stoke and the Edinburgh round, as well as the Milk Race in Nottingham. At the National Championships in Abergavenny she was second to Emma Pooley in the time trial and sixth in the road race.
The Commonwealth Games yielded a bronze medal in the points race on the track. A national title in the individual pursuit, ahead of Laura Trott, followed and she then clinched two gold medals at the European Championships in Guadeloupe.
The World Cup in London merely confirmed what we already know. The British women’s team pursuit squad are a step ahead of the rest of the world and Archibald has become an integral part of that success.