'My path was unconvential': The 40 hours of Zwift leading up to John Archibald's ProTeam debut

Archibald made his debut for Alberto Contador's EOLO-Kometa outfit at the Clásica de Almería, but a perfect storm of problems meant his preparation was unorthodox, to say the least

(Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Getty Images)

While John Archibald's new EOLO-Kometa team-mates were getting reacquainted on the coast near Valencia at a pre-season training camp, he was inside on Zwift replicating the training at home, knocking out 40 hours of indoor riding over 11 days to get himself ready for his debut.

"My path to Clásica de Almería was a bit unconventional if you compare it to my team-mates," Archibald said, the perfect storm of coronavirus and Brexit travel restrictions stopping him from making the trip to Spain, while the literal storm of snow, ice and rain at home in Scotland prevented him from training outside.

Stepping up to ProTeam level for the first time at the age of 30, Archibald was supposed to make his first outing for Alberto Contador's squad at the Volta a la Comunitat Valencia before it was cancelled, the 21.2km time trial would have provided an opportunity for the 'Chronoman', as the team's press release describes him, to show what he can do against the clock.

Instead, the Clásica de Almería "was a privileged opportunity for me to represent the team and open my professional debut," the Scotsman said, finishing 109th, two minutes down on winner Giacomo Nizzolo.

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Next, Archibald's main focus is on not getting trapped in the UK again. He will now stick with the team so as to not miss out on another training camp or a packed schedule of Italian races coming up in March.

"As of now I join the team’s next training camp in Oliva, finishing out a training period before moving onwards to Italy and continuing my race program over there," Archibald said. "Let’s hope I don’t do a single ride indoors between now and then; I have my fingers crossed."

Jonny Long

Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races. I'm 6'0", 26 years old, have a strong hairline and have an adequate amount of savings for someone my age. I'm very single at the minute so if you know anyone, hit me up.


Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab, reporting about students evacuating their bowels on nightclub dancefloors and consecrating their love on lecture hall floors. I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).


I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.