Former swimmer Katie Archibald made a splash in cycling when she won her first team pursuit world title after just three years in the sport. She went on to claim gold with GB in the team pursuit at the 2016 Olympic Games
Apparently there are outdoor escalators in Hong Kong. I can’t remember the last time I chose to walk somewhere rather than ride but if by some freak accident I do find myself on two feet, like a dog being forced to dance, I won’t have to put in too much effort during my visit this week. I’m glad.
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Hong Kong, of course, is the setting for the upcoming UCI Track Cycling World Championships. It’s my first trip to Asia and I’m quite excited about the whole experience. And by ‘excited’ I mean ‘terrified’. Same feeling, really; what’s the difference between butterflies in your stomach and tiny, exploding wasps?
My main targets are the omnium and the individual pursuit. I’m not setting my expectations for the omnium too high. I’ve been reminded by many a journalist and well-meaning friend alike that my omnium spot has come as a consequence of Laura Kenny (current world and Olympic champion in the discipline) being pregnant.
It would grate me if it wasn’t true. The silver lining is that this sentiment takes the pressure off; I’m just the understudy so you’re not expecting the world. Please don’t think I feel too complacent though: like any rider, on any start line, I’ll be trying to win.
The pursuit is a bit different. Pursuiting is kind of my thing and this is my chance to prove I’m good at my thing. The only other time I’ve raced a Worlds individual pursuit is 2015 where I placed fifth. A disappointing champs for us, in Paris, that year. It ended GB women’s four-year run of world title wins in the team pursuit and saw none of us in the rainbow jersey for another discipline.
I think the favourites for the individual will be my familiar rivals from the team pursuit with Rebecca Wiasak of Australia and Chloe Dygert of the USA the two obvious contenders for the title. Someone has to challenge them though or the whole game is pointless: I’ll be giving it my best shot.