Katie Archibald column: Rumours has it…

'The first time I called, I got put on hold and I loved it. Their hold music was 'The Chain' by Fleetwood Mac'

When I used to work on the phones in the family bed shop there was a courier I would often call to try and get customers an estimated time for their delivery.

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The first time I called, I got put on hold and I loved it. Their hold music was ‘The Chain’ by Fleetwood Mac.

Six months into following through on the inane task of calling up to get the delivery schedule, surely something that could instead be published online, and my love for the song ‘The Chain’ began to falter. It was a sad day.

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That was seven years ago and, thankfully, the conditioning has now faded and I can crank up the whole Rumours album as blissfully as the next person. You can assume, however, that after such an experience a person might be nervous about a repeat.

Well, and this is related so bear with me, I was racing the UCI Track World Cup in Glasgow last weekend. It’s a three-day event but the organisation runs qualifying rounds on ‘day zero’, which is an unticked session.



You race in relative quiet in front of empty stands, save for some friends and family and for whose benefit the venue might play some music.

Well, imagine my horror when halfway through our team pursuit qualifier, up to my eyeballs in lactate. I realised they were playing the song ‘Dreams’.

“God, don’t let this go badly and tarnish another Fleetwood Mac song for me with the associated memory!” I screamed internally.

Not actually, of course. I didn’t think in a sentence with grammar and structure and clear meaning. But like how a baby can feel fear without learning the verb to be scared, I understood the danger.

The good news is we qualified first, 1.3 seconds ahead of Germany. And for the final the next evening, when the stands were packed and the music subbed out for people’s cheering, we won.

It was a new best time for our Tokyo Olympiad squad of (in starting order) Eleanor Dickinson, Neah Evans, Elinor Barker and myself.

I’m going to put the Rumours album on just now and feel good thinking about it.

This Katie Archibald column originally appeared in the print edition of Cycling Weekly, on sale in newsagents and supermarkets, priced £3.25.

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