John and Katie Archibald frustrated at Track World Championships

John Archibald was seventh in the individual pursuit at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships. Picture: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
John Archibald was seventh in the individual pursuit at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships. Picture: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
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There was frustration for Britain and the Archibald family at the Track Cycling World Championships in Poland.

John Archibald entered the individual pursuit with lofty ambitions after setting the second fastest ever time in the event – at four minutes 9.584 seconds – in Manchester in January, but was some way off his best as he clocked 4:14.730 to miss out on the medal rides, finishing seventh.

His sister Katie got off to a disappointing start in the omnium in Pruszkow, finishing 11th in the opening scratch race and then eighth in the tempo race.

“It’s disappointing, I’m still trying to put my finger on what went wrong,” said Milngavie’s John Archibald, who also saw the unofficial sea-level world record he set in Manchester fall to Italy’s Filippo Ganna, who will go for a gold after posting a time of 4:07.456, two tenths of a second outside the world record.

“Just from start to finish I could feel myself getting weaker the whole way through. There’s no particular reason why. I had the form three weeks ago to go quick and I felt OK on a couple of test sessions I had on the track here.

“I always get very nervous before the race and the drama of it does get to me a bit but at the moment I can’t explain why. I just cracked.”

Katie Archibald wasn’t slated to ride the omnium but stepped in when Laura Kenny withdrewn.

Kenny, a two-time Olympic champion in the event, indicated after Thursday’s team pursuit that she had been feeling unwell and off her game this week, prompting her to step aside.

“I am absolutely gutted to announce that I won’t be riding in the Omnium at the world championships today,” Kenny wrote on Instagram.

Katie Archibald, who won the Omnium world title at the 2017 world championships in Hong Kong, is due to ride in the Madison today alongside Neah Evans.

These championships have not proved a particularly happy one for the Kennys.

Laura sought to take the blame for Britain finishing second to Australia in the team pursuit, saying she was unable to do full turns on the front, while on Wednesday husband Jason and the men’s team sprint squad were disappointed to miss out on the medal rounds.

Ireland’s Mark Downey won bronze in a thrilling points race, won by Holland’s Jan Willem van Schip with Scottish rider Mark Stewart eighth.

In a hectic race full of attacks, Downey picked up a critical third lap late in the race to vault up the leaderboard and into a tie with Poland’s Wojciech Pszczolarski.

The pair finished with 67 points, while Van Schip won with 104 and Spain’s Sebastian Mora Vedri took silver on 76.

“That means a lot,” Downey said. “I’ve had such a bumpy winter with a lot of crashes. I’ve finished fourth a lot of times in my career over this past year, I know what it’s like to finish fourth, so third there tonight is just a good as a win after so many emotions of being so close.

“It all flowed to me with eight laps to go. I was suffering so much, but I thought I can’t let that feeling happen again and to be on the other side of the coin is a very nice feeling.

“It was very hectic, but I knew it would be. I just had to bide my time. I split the race up into quarters. I played it smart, focused on the laps and didn’t get involved in the sprints because they’re not really my forte. It worked to my favour.”