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Archibald hopes to start momentous 2014 with world championships gold

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Katie Archibald hopes to start a momentous 2014 with team pursuit gold at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Colombia.

The Scottish rider is one of five athletes in contention to ride in the event for Great Britain together with Laura Trott, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell and Elinor Barker.

The 19-year-old, who will have medal aspirations at a home Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July, watched last year’s championships at home but has since then experienced a remarkable rise into the Great Britain Cycling Team.

“2014 is looking pretty good, isn't it?” said Archibald, who made her Great Britain debut at last year’s European track championships.

“It's a huge goal. I really, really want to be riding in that team pursuit team and trying to make sure we get a medal.

“It's mad that it's a realistic prospect now because half-a-year ago I was scratching at the door trying to get a qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games thinking that was a massive dream and now to be riding for GB, it's amazing.

“I was on a sofa watching (the 2012 world championships). This time last year the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome had opened and I was aiming for the individual pursuit qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games so it was all very Scottish based.

“I was part of a new Scotland team, training by myself really so it's very exciting that now I'm still in the same setup and going a whole lot faster.”

Archibald has slotted seamlessly into the four-person event and a squad that includes three Olympic champions, having only taken up competitive cycling in 2011.

After winning a European team pursuit title last October in Apeldoorn - setting a new world record on two occasions - Archibald went solo for the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in Manchester and collected silver in the scratch race and bronze in the individual pursuit for Scotland.

She returned in the colours of Great Britain for the second round of the world cup in Aguascalientes and with Elinor Barker, Dani King, Joanna Rowsell took the world record down to 4:16.552 en-route to gold.

Her rapid progress since joining the team has surprised even Archibald.

“Not at all,” said replied when asked if she thought the step-up would have occurred so quickly.

“I'd come down for a training camp with some other Scotland teammates and when they said the kind of split times these girls were doing you think 'that's not realistic' because you kind of compare it to what you can do by yourself and don't quite process the amount of training they put into it.

“But it's nice to see that the training does pay off and from day one I am now pulling my fair share, obviously I'm not going to say I'm the best in the team, I'm definitely still that periphery but making the right kind of progressions to make sure I keep my space.”

Archibald believes the quintet is well prepared for the competition, the first time the women’s team pursuit will be contested by four athletes over four kilometres at a senior world championships.

But she admitted that there are some nerves for her world championships debut.

“It's gone pretty well,” Archibald, from Milngavie, said.

“You always get shaky before a big competition. You think 'oh God I've got the worst cold and my knees are really sore and training's going terribly’ but I think that's just what happens with nerves.

“The girls are nervous and excited. It's nice to have a comforting voice who has been there before to tell you the world isn't going to fall apart, it will be alright.

“I think we will actually be in good form for the day.”

Archibald added that a tilt at one of the individual events at the Alcides Nieto Patino Velodrome is also on her mind.

“On a side note I would like to do the points race, it would be a treat.”

The Great Britain Cycling Team has won women’s team pursuit gold at all but one of the seven world championships since its inclusion in 2007, taking silver in 2010.

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