Katie Archibald ponders bid for treble glory at Tokyo Olympics

Katie Archibald celebrates winning gold in the women's Omnium at the 2017 European Championships in Berlin. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com
Katie Archibald celebrates winning gold in the women's Omnium at the 2017 European Championships in Berlin. Picture: Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com
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Katie Archibald wants to “solidify”

ing” her place as one half of Great Britain’s Madison duo for the Tokyo Olympics as she and her team-mates prepare for a home TISSOT UCI Track Cycling World Cup in December.

The event, at London’s Lee Valley VeloPark from 14 t0 16 December, will see Britain’s women fight for world cup titles – and Tokyo 2020 qualifying points – in the three Olympic endurance events: team pursuit, Madison and omnium.

Already an Olympic champion and a fixture in the team pursuit quartet, Milngavie’s Archibald wants to establish herself in the Madison team before assessing a possible bid for all three golds in Tokyo, although she concedes that coach Paul Manning is spoilt for choice.

Archibald said: “I used to take it as a baseline that, if you’re a competitive cyclist, you should want to go to the Olympics and do everything, so in my case, team pursuit, Madison and omnium.

“I still think it’s a natural thing to aspire to, but now I realise it’s not a case of whether a rider can ‘manage’ all three, but rather whether they can be gold medal competitive in all three. I really want to believe I can be there for the team pursuit, at the moment I’m aspiring to be there for the Madison, and so the question is can you put the omnium on top of that – can anyone?

“I did all three in Glasgow [at the 2018 European Championships] and it didn’t make me think it was an impossible task. But it’s not a question of whether it’s doable to compete in all three events, it’s whether you can in the years, months, weeks and days leading up to the Olympics, fine-tune all three events and be in a perfect state to take them all on.

“At the moment, my big aim is trying to solidify that Madison spot.”

Archibald is world champion in the event, having claimed the title alongside Emily Nelson in Apeldoorn in March, and recently became national champion, in partnership with Elinor Barker. The podium at that event also included Laura Kenny, Ellie Dickinson, Neah Evans and Emily Kay – an indication of the formidable strength in depth of the British women’s endurance programme.

Archibald added: “We’re working in a squad of nine riders at the moment, so essentially that means that there are nine fairly serious Madison contenders on a world stage.”