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Katie Archibald Honours Late Partner With Pursuit Gold For Britain In Glasgow

Katie Archibald led Britain’s team of pursuiters to an emotional and emphatic win in the final at the UCI World Cycling Championships in Glasgow, defeating New Zealand in the gold medal race by more than four seconds.

But for Scotland’s Archibald, whose partner, Rab Wardell, died of a cardiac arrest in bed last August, it was also a vindication of her decision to overcome her grief and continue racing.

“I got on the bike about three days after Rab died and there was nothing,” she said last month. “Suddenly, I realised there was nothing available to be scared about. The worst had happened, so what was there to be scared about?

“Rab was so involved in this championships and this dream of a home worlds. He had such a love for sport on two wheels and for Glasgow, that’s what this whole event is about.”

Archibald, Elinor Barker, Josie Knight and Anna Morris came back from an initial deficit in the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome to overpower their opponents to record a first world title in the team pursuit since 2014.

“We have always seen ourselves as the best in the world but we haven’t been here, on the top step, since 2014,” Archibald said. “To have that feeling validated feels good.”

New Zealand, ahead on time splits for the opening laps, started to slip backwards towards the midway point, but it was Archibald’s speed in the third kilometre that set up a British victory.

Earlier, in the men’s C3 scratch race, British duo Jaco van Gass and Finlay Graham took gold and silver respectively, dominating the field in the 60-lap race. Sam Ruddock also defended his men’s C1 kilo title while Blaine Hunt took the C5 title.

Charlie Hatton said Fort William ‘rides really good in the wet’. Photograph: Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty ImagesIn the men’s mountain bike downhill event, Charlie Hatton also claimed a gold medal in wet and treacherous conditions in Fort William. Although many of his rivals crashed in the trickiest sections of the technical course, Hatton stayed upright to become the fifth British rider to win the world title.

“I know Fort William rides really good in the wet,” Hatton said.

Cat Ferguson was left frustrated after taking the silver medal in the junior women’s road race behind Julie Bego of France.

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Ferguson, winner of the junior Tour of Flanders, led home the pursuing group, shaking her head in dismay after the chase had been stymied by the reluctance of others to assist and also by canny tactics from Bego’s French teammates.

“Second place is amazing, but I came here for the jersey,” Ferguson said. “GB was the only team trying to chase and, unfortunately, it didn’t work.”

Remco Evenepoel of Belgium, the reigning world champion and the hottest talent in the men’s World Tour, will be the focal point of Sunday’s 271km men’s road race, particularly as he seems closer than ever to leaving his current sponsor, Soudal Quick-Step.

The 23-year-old has long been linked with a move to British team Ineos Grenadiers, among others, and speculation that the Vuelta a España champion will soon be on the move intensified after his father, also his agent, refused to guarantee that his son would not be with a new team in 2024.

While he will start as one of the favourites for the rainbow jersey, Evenepoel will also have to manage the tactical nuances of his own high-powered Belgian national team.

Wout van Aert, multiple winner of the World Cyclo-cross title and stages in the Tour de France, and Jasper Philipsen, winner of four stages in this July’s Tour and currently the quickest sprinter in the peloton, are among his teammates.

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