Such is the domination Katie Archibald has shown at European Championships, even a silver medal can feel like a relative disappointment.
But for a rider who has 11 continental golds in her cabinet – including one picked up just 24 hours before this latest pursuit effort – perhaps she can be forgiven for a small diversion from perfection.
It’s perfection that the Scot has dealt in since she took her first steps onto the European stage, a humble 19-year-old doing magic things with her first title in the team pursuit.
The humbleness has remained in the five years since, so too the humility of a Milngavie rider that knows Lisa Brennauer was the deserving winner of the individual gold medal in a time of 3:26.879.
Yet in the same turn of the wheel, Archibald is a rider who also knows she’ll be back. At 24, the golden years still remain in her future.
“It’s better when you win but going into that, I needed Lisa not to back up her qualification performance from the morning to be able to win that,” she said.
“I couldn’t touch three minutes, 26 seconds there, I felt rough in the morning and miles apart in the afternoon but it still wasn’t really within touching distance.
“Lisa and I are teammates on the road and so we have these conversations, I know she’s keen on the World Championships and the team pursuit as well, they’re on our radar so there are sharp elbows around.
“When I thought I was not doing it, I thought I would be going around in 4:30.00s which was a bit worrying, but I took a lot of comfort in the team pursuit stuff that we’d done - but there’s no way there was a 26 in me at the moment. I’m not disappointed to be behind that.”
European glory has come like clockwork for the often unfaultable Archibald, with Olympic, world and Commonwealth titles helping to bolster what is far from a shabby collection, including success on the Gold Coast earlier this year.
Yet with a ride in Glasgow came another chance to wow the home crowd, a Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome captivated by the talents of a likeable track cyclist, both on and off the bike.
They weren’t to get their golden wish this time around yet the cheers still remained as the third day’s evening session headed towards a conclusion which did see victory for a Brit in Ethan Hayter, victorious in the omnium.
But while the volume was deafening, Archibald herself knew it was not the sound she truly wanted to hear.
“In Australia, at the Commonwealth Games, I could tell that I had won in the final and it was the same noise as it was for silver here,” she added.
“I was against a home favourite, so you hear that support but it’s people cheering you to get home and get yourself over the line and not because you’ve won. It’s an odd feeling.
“All three medallists in this race did all three rounds of the team pursuit as well so there’s no excuse there, I think I was just outbested. I wasn’t feeling at my best earlier in the day.”
For Katie, who is back in action in the Madison with fellow Olympic champion on Monday, attentions now turn to her sibling, John.
The fellow track cyclist takes to the velodrome on Sunday for his one and only event, also the pursuit, looking to be the latest Brit on the podium on his home boards after securing a medal on the Gold Coast.
He’ll have a long way to go to catch his sister, however, though there’s no doubt who’ll be feeling the tension the most when the moment comes.
“I’m really happy for John, he’s the only non-squad rider so his experience has been really different,” added Katie.
“I can’t speak for his nerves or form at the moment – I’ve asked him what I should be saying instead of wondering how he’s actually feeling.
“I’m probably more nervous than he is to be honest – for him it’s all to gain and nothing to lose so we’ll see how it goes.”
“I’ve got a rest day on Sunday, a lot of the omnium riders will be doing the elimination race so I’ve just got to stay activated and wake up in my step and ready for Monday.”
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