Katie Archibald blazes to pursuit title in Manchester on day one of National Track Champs

It was Archibald's second win in the event in her career

(Image credit: Alex Broadway/SWpix.com)
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Olympian Katie Archibald has claimed the women’s British national individual pursuit title after catching her rival Emily Nelson in less than six laps in the final.

The Scot qualified fastest in the morning’s qualifying session with a time of 3.28.7 and went on to catch Team Breeze rider Nelson - who clocked a person best of 3.28.8 in qualifying - in the final.

Archibald (Team WNT) said: “It was a bit of a gamble. I thought if I make it in six it's in the bag and if I don’t I’ve got no idea what I’m going to do.”

Ahead of the race the Olympic team-pursuit gold medalist had said her main aim of the weekend was to set a good time in the pursuit and as she was 0.7 seconds off her personal best she said she was “really pleased” with her qualifying ride.

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She added: “I had a training session yesterday that was just going terribly and then I got this kind of psychosomatic cough and I coughed my guts up all night thinking I can’t do this. I woke up this morning and thought no no its not happening. So I’m elated [to win].”

Archibald has been in fine form lately coming second at the Berlin Six Day contest earlier in the week, behind reigning road world champion Amalie Dideriksen.

All the more impressive given she only fairly recently returned to competition after she fractured her wrist at a track world cup meet in Glasgow in November.

Brother NRG lock out pursuit final

In the men’s individual pursuit team-mates Daniel Bigham and Charlie Tanfield, both of whom ride for the Brother NRG Driverplan team, contested the gold medal

The pair had qualified with times within 0.7 seconds of each other and both set personal bests.

However, on the night Bigham was over three seconds faster to take the national champs jersey.

Tanfield will be able to take some comfort from the fact that Bigham will be on his team on Sunday when they are hoping to challenge the 100% Me team, made up of riders on the British Cycling Academy programme, one of the favourites for the title.

In the women’s sprint Jessica Crampton took the title in two races as she bested Rachael James, who many had down as the favourite.

Crampton won a close first race but was nearly a bike length ahead at the line in the second sprint - which had to be rerun after James suffered a crash in the first attempt. After the race James said the fall hadn’t affected her sprint.

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Crampton, who is currently a student at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “I can’t believe it I’m so happy if you had told me six months ago that I’d win I would have said, ‘Are you kidding me?’ because I was barely on my bike… I wasn’t even going to ride today.

"I did the University Championships [in November] and I had 12 weeks of training and I went there and got two records and three golds and the university offered to enter me for this.

"We had eight weeks to train for it and now I’m thinking all those Wattbike sessions where I was being sick were worth it because when I had Rachael on my hip I just had that bit extra.”

The men’s keirin was won by Lewis Oliva (Team USN) with Matthew Rotherham (Sportcity Velo) and Thomas Rotherham (Sportcity Velo) rounding out the podium.

Meanwhile, 15-year old Lauren Booth (Carnac-Plaent X) picked up her second national jersey of her young career winning the para-cycling C1-5 time trial, beating world champion and Rio gold medalist Jody Cundy (Para T) in the process.

In the morning session Tandem pairing Sophie Thornhill (Boot Out Breast Cancer) and Corrine Hall (Matrix Fitness) were also crowned para-cycling BVI time trial champions.

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