‘To put my name amongst these guys, I think I’ve done pretty well’: John Archibald thrust into the limelight at Yorkshire 2019 World Championships

The track specialist became an unexpected protagonist as he set the fastest time during the elite men’s time trial

(Image credit: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com)

John Archibald has reflected on an unexpected day in the limelight during the elite men’s time trial at the Yorkshire 2019 World Championships.

The Scot was given a last-minute call-up to represent Britain in the time trial after Geraint Thomas pulled out four days before the event.

Archibald, who also helped GB to a bronze medal in the mixed relay team time trial, told Cycling Weekly he was uncertain how he would fare, but suddenly found himself at the top of the standings early in the race.

>>> ‘I woke up high on painkillers, but I knew I could get to the World Championships’: Tom Pidcock ready for racing return after huge crash 

After setting out on the Yorkshire 2019 World Championship TT course as one of the early starters, Archibald set a formidable time and held the hot-seat, before he was knocked down the rankings as the favourites came in.

The 28-year-old said: “To sit in the hot-seat for a bit, and to put my name in amongst these guys – I think I’ve done fairly well and I’m pretty pleased with how it’s gone.

“I felt good, as far as the ride, the plan and the sensations through the course. I felt like I put in as good a ride as I could do.

“I don't look back at the ride and think there's bits I would change dramatically.

“Overall I'm pretty pleased.”

Receiving the call up on Saturday (September 21), Archibald had only three days to prepare for the TT as he replaced Thomas and the first back-up rider Tao Geoghegan Hart, who was unavailable for the race.

A recce in the wet and repeated viewings of a course video were the only chances to see the route for Archibald, who hadn’t raced an individual time trial since the British National Championships in June, where he finished second.

He added: “I didn't feel as though I was at a massive disadvantage.

“Obviously, I would have liked to prepare more, but it wouldn't have changed result.”

>>> Alex Dowsett’s best ever World Championships ride helps secure GB second Olympic time trial spot 

Archibald finished 14th in the elite TT, 3-11 down in the winner Rohan Dennis (Aus), which capped off a strong performance for the British squad.

British time trial champion Alex Dowsett was the strongest home performer on the day finishing in fifth place, his highest finish in a World Championships.

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.