After making the switch to track cycling, Archibald first caught the attention of the Great Britain Cycling Team coaches at the 2013 British National Track Championships when she took the bronze medal in the individual pursuit, behind established stars Laura Trott and Dani King.
That was enough to earn her a place on the team pursuit squad for the 2013 UEC European Track Championships as the British adapted impressively to the new, four-rider, four-kilometre format introduced after the 2012 London Olympics; the Great Britain women breaking the world record in both qualifying and finals on the way to the gold medal.
Archibald’s development continued in two UCI Track Cycling World Cups later that year in which she won a silver in the scratch and bronze in the individual pursuit in the Manchester round and gold in the team pursuit in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where the Great Britain foursome again broke world records in both qualifying and finals.
A team pursuit world championship title was now in Archibald’s sights and it duly arrived, in Cali, Colombia in early 2014, when she won a rainbow jersey along with team mates Trott, Joanna Rowsell Shand and Elinor Barker, a victory that capped a meteoric rise for the young rider who was still two weeks short of her 20th birthday and made her Scotland’s first female track cycling world champion.
Archibald had only been officially accepted onto the Senior Academy a few months earlier, in November 2013 after spending the 2012-13 season working as a telesales operator in her family’s business.
Further success followed quickly throughout 2014 with team pursuit golds in UCI Track Cycling World Cup meetings in London and Guadalajara, Mexico; a powerful double-gold medal winning performance, in team and individual pursuit, at the UEC European Track Championships in Guadeloupe and success in a new event in taking a bronze medal while representing Scotland in the points race at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The move to being a full-time professional, with the Madison Boot Out Breast Cancer Cycling Team, also saw Archibald compiling success on the domestic road scene although there was a first defeat in the new four-rider format for the team pursuit squad, at the 2015 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Paris where Great Britain took silver behind an Australian team that also broke the world record.
There were numerous consolations throughout the year, however, especially at the UEC European Track Championships in Grenchen, Switzerland, where Archibald won three gold medals, successfully defending her titles at the individual and team pursuit while adding the elimination race for good measure.
There was also a remarkable ride at the 2015 UCI Track Cycling World Cup Cali, Colombia, where the trio of Archibald, Roswell Shand and Ciara Horne won a bronze medal in the team pursuit, beating China’s four riders with only three competitors, after Barker was forced to withdraw on the opening lap because of illness.
By the start of 2016, Archibald’s team, now Podium Ambition, had been accepted onto the UCI Women’s World Tour with the Scot riding alongside Great Britain Cycling Team colleagues Dame Sarah Storey and Rowsell Shand. However, the year did not start well for Archibald with an accident leaving her with injured knee ligaments that sidelined her for the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in London in March.
Her battle for fitness in early 2016 was long and hard but, by the time of the Rio Olympics, she had firmly re-established herself in the women’s team pursuit team that broke the world record on each of their three rides, eventually winning gold from the USA in a final time of 4:10.236.
|Olympic Games, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)||Team pursuit||Gold|
|UCI Track Cycling World Championships, Paris (France)||Team pursuit||Silver|
|UEC Under-23 European Track Championships, Athens (Greece)||Individual pursuit||Silver|
|UEC European Track Championships, Grenchen (Switzerland)||Team pursuit||Gold|
|UEC European Track Championships, Grenchen (Switzerland)||Individual pursuit||Gold|
|UEC European Track Championships, Grenchen (Switzerland)||Elimination race||Gold|
|UCI Track Cycling World Cup, Cali (Colombia)||Team pursuit||Bronze|
|UCI Track Cycling World Cup, London (UK)||Team pursuit||Gold|
|UCI Track Cycling World Cup, Guadalajara (Mexico)||Team pursuit (qualifying ride)||Gold|
|UEC European Track Championships, Guadaloupe||Team pursuit||Gold|
|UEC European Track Championships, Guadaloupe||Individual pursuit||Gold|
|Commonwealth Games, Glasgow (UK)||Points race||Bronze|
|UCI Track Cycling World Championships, Cali (Colombia)||Team pursuit||Gold|
|UCI Track Cycling World Cup, Manchester (UK)||Scratch (riding for Braveheart)||Silver|
|UCI Track Cycling World Cup, Manchester (UK)||Individual pursuit (riding for Braveheart)||Bronze|
|UCI Track Cycling World Cup, Aguascalientes (Mexico)||Team pursuit||Gold|
|UEC European Track Championships 2012/13, Apeldoorn (Holland)||Team pursuit||Gold|