Katie Archibald col­umn

“I’d ap­plauded this re­sult with the kind of pa­tro­n­is­ing af­fec­tion only a younger sib­ling can pro­vide. I made it about me”

Cycling Weekly - - Contents - Olympic and world cham­pion, Katie Archibald got into cy­cling af­ter win­ning hand­i­cap races on a High­land Games grass track

My brother is now the Bri­tish na­tional points race cham­pion. I hadn’t been keep­ing track of his bril­liance my­self but I read some­where (‘some­where’ means I read it on In­sta­gram but I’m too em­bar­rassed to cite it as a news source, like when I tell a story about ‘some­one I know’ when re­ally it’s another lame story about my boyfriend that I’m try­ing to dis­guise) that it’s his best na­tional re­sult since a fourth as an 11-year-old swim­mer.

The day be­fore be­com­ing the Bri­tish na­tional points race cham­pion he’d won a bronze medal in the in­di­vid­ual pur­suit, be­hind Team KGF’S Char­lie Tan­field and Dan Bigham. I’d ap­plauded this re­sult with the kind of pa­tro­n­is­ing af­fec­tion only a younger sib­ling can pro­vide: I made it about me. My own first se­nior Bri­tish medal, in 2013, was a bronze in the in­di­vid­ual pur­suit and I was touched by this mir­ror­ing. He’s my older brother, called John, by the way, though he prefers to go by ‘Katie Archibald’s brother’, but I’d in­dulged my­self with a nar­ra­tive where our break­throughs would both come from the same medal.

Things I hadn’t taken into con­sid­er­a­tion: firstly, KA’SB (or, ‘John’) was al­ready mul­ti­ple Scot­tish na­tional cham­pion on both track and road, had al­ready claimed Scot­tish na­tional records from Graeme Obree, and qual­i­fied for the 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games. He’d had more break­throughs than calls to see if he might have been mis-sold PPI.

Sec­ondly, and in hind­sight most im­por­tantly, John was men­tally un­hinged enough to ride another pur­suit the day af­ter his bronze-win­ning ride, but this time in the mid­dle of a points race. Then win a few sprints for good mea­sure.

And so I wit­nessed John achieve some­thing that I thought would take him three more years and Laura Kenny get­ting preg­nant to achieve — that’s what it took me.

My own Na­tion­als also went well. If you’ve fol­lowed the ‘why are you en­ter­ing the sprint?’ saga in this col­umn I re­turn with brilliant news of a bronze medal and one of the most en­joy­able day’s rac­ing I’ve had in years. John has a lot of work to do be­fore he can match that.

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