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
I was racing in Glasgow recently. My last race before the European Track Championships (October 19-22) was always going to be on my home track, though I was expecting it to be at the first round of the Revolution Series.
That was cancelled though (making the new first round the London event on November 25, I believe) so my last touch of racing was a sprint event: the Glasgow Sprint GP. I got to race against, and be beaten by, national sprint champion Jessica Crampton as well getting a win for myself in the keirin. Can’t be totally awful prep, can it.
I also entered the ‘open’ points race. Originally the men’s points race, the friendly organisers were happy to let me enter with no false name needed. So ‘Karlos Itchibaw’ stays on the shelf for next time.
The field wasn’t bursting but among the small entry was my boyfriend. The last time we raced against each other we were juniors, and it ended in tears. It was a Madison so we were actually a pair racing together.
Angus got a “really bad” stitch halfway through (though each time I tell the story he seems to have lasted for less of the race) and left me to finish the Scottish Junior Madison Championships by myself.
If memory serves me right Mark Stewart and Tom Arnstein won the race. I took home the more simple victory of finishing it and didn’t speak to the boy for several years.
We managed to fall out again this time around five years on but for the opposite reason. He tried to help me — the only girl in the field — out in the first sprint and I took a remarkable amount of offence.
I eventually came third (of the four riders that finished on the same lap — it was a pretty savage race, bodies everywhere) and rode straight off to lambast Gus for his actions. My mum, who’d come to spectate, couldn’t keep up.
“So this time you’re angry because he wanted to lend a hand?”
Nice pun, mum, but you’re missing the point.