Katie Archibald column: What’s in a name?

“All are in contention for an Olympic spot. Can you imagine what our training sessions are like? It should be cheating to have training partners this good”

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

Last week I overheard Ellie Dickinson explaining that her family find it odd to hear her so called because they call her Eleanor — Ell to her dad — which made me wonder how much of your identity is attached to your name and how I’ll never experience this multi-naming.

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With an already abbreviated birth certificate name (Katie) and a failed past of getting people to call me Kate, I will probably never know the answer to whether this means you are a different person to different people, as reflected by what they call you.

So, yes, Eleanor Dickinson rode the omnium at the Milton Track World Cup, Canada, recently. I can’t tell you how it went because although I’ve said ‘recently’ I’m writing this ahead of time so I can submit it before I also compete, in the points race.

Hopefully the answer is ‘fantastically well’ and you’ll be reading about it a few pages hence, along with news of our brilliant Madison which we rode/will be riding together! [Dickinson claimed bronze in the omnium, with Dickinson and Archibald taking gold in the Madison, and Archibald winning the points race – ed.]

Milton is the third World Cup of the season and our omnium rider has changed for each. The first was ridden by Elinor Barker (whom we, incidentally, call ‘El’) and the second by myself.

Emily Kay and Emily Nelson (‘Kay’ and ‘Nelson’) each rode the omnium at World Cups last season and, in case you had forgotten, the double Olympic and world champion in the event is Laura Kenny.

>>> Katie Archibald column: Hitting the gym early to feel smug

WAIT — that’s not even it. There’s also Neah Evans to be added to this bragging list as she’s consistently one of the nation’s best bunch racers, though is yet to have been selected as omnium rider for a major competition.

All of which hopefully demonstrates the depth of talent we have on our track squad. Not just because all have proven to be competitive on the international stage, but also because all are in genuine contention for that Olympic omnium spot.

Can you imagine what our training sessions are like? It should be considered cheating to have training partners this good.