Katie Archibald column: My brother's track success

“I’d applauded this result with the kind of patronising affection only a younger sibling can provide. I made it about me”

Katie Archibald

Olympic and world champion, Katie Archibald got into cycling after winning handicap races on a Highland Games grass track. She writes a column for Cycling Weekly each week

My brother is now the British national points race champion.

I hadn’t been keeping track of his brilliance myself but I read somewhere (‘somewhere’ means I read it on Instagram but I’m too embarrassed to cite it as a news source, like when I tell a story about ‘someone I know’ when really it’s another lame story about my boyfriend that I’m trying to disguise) that it’s his best national result since a fourth as an 11-year-old swimmer.

The day before becoming the British national points race champion he’d won a bronze medal in the individual pursuit, behind Team KGF’s Charlie Tanfield and Dan Bigham.

I’d applauded this result with the kind of patronising affection only a younger sibling can provide: I made it about me.

My own first senior British medal, in 2013, was a bronze in the individual pursuit and I was touched by this mirroring. He’s my older brother, called John, by the way, though he prefers to go by ‘Katie Archibald’s brother', but I’d indulged myself with a narrative where our breakthroughs would both come from the same medal.


Things I hadn’t taken into consideration: firstly, KA’sB (or, ‘John’) was already multiple Scottish national champion on both track and road, had already claimed Scottish national records from Graeme Obree, and qualified for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He’d had more breakthroughs than calls to see if he might have been mis-sold PPI.

Secondly, and in hindsight most importantly, John was mentally unhinged enough to ride another pursuit the day after his bronze-winning ride, but this time in the middle of a points race. Then win a few sprints for good measure.

>>> Katie Archibald column: Accepting an MBE is not an easy decision

And so I witnessed John achieve something that I thought would take him three more years and Laura Kenny getting pregnant to achieve — that’s what it took me.

My own Nationals also went well. If you’ve followed the ‘why are you entering the sprint?’ saga in this column I return with brilliant news of a bronze medal and one of the most enjoyable day’s racing I’ve had in years.

John has a lot of work to do before he can match that.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Nigel Wynn
Former Associate Editor

Nigel Wynn worked as associate editor on CyclingWeekly.com, he worked almost single-handedly on the Cycling Weekly website in its early days. His passion for cycling, his writing and his creativity, as well as his hard work and dedication, were the original driving force behind the website’s success. Without him, CyclingWeekly.com would certainly not exist on the size and scale that it enjoys today. Nigel sadly passed away, following a brave battle with a cancer-related illness, in 2018. He was a highly valued colleague, and more importantly, an exceptional person to work with - his presence is sorely missed.