The Scottish rider John Archibald made his debut on Almeria’s roads this season with a race bib. Chronoman will never forget the Clásica de Almería. A great rider in the track world, in the formation of the Contador Foundation Archibald aspires to make an important leap on the road at international level given his great qualities in the time trial discipline. The Clásica de Almería was his first competitive experience with the team and with the category. A debut that was delayed due to the health situation, the mobility restrictions, the storms and the postponement of races.
“My path to Clásica de Almería was a bit unconventional if you compare it to my teammates. While many of them enjoyed a second training camp in Oliva over January, I enjoyed the company of my indoor trainer; spending a total of 40 hours over the 11 day period on Zwift. With strict travel restrictions stopping me from making the camp, I did my best to re-create the training at home. But this was made more difficult by the Scotland’s constant mix of snow, ice and rain. Either way, I was motivated to continue my training with the prospect of racing on the horizon”, tells.
The Volta a la Comunitat Valencia emerged as his first commitment of the season and his programme included a 21.2 km time trial for the fourth stage from Xilxes to Almenara. “However, the plan took another deviation when Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana was cancelled, and the excitement of a time trial stage disappeared. Now it seemed that opportunities to race were becoming few and far between, so the Clásica de Almería was a privileged opportunity for me to represent the team and open my professional debut”.
In Almeria, Archibald enjoyed a day that became very complicated in the final kilometres for the team: “The general sentiment of the race seemed nervous and I saw a lot of crashes from innocuous situations. Our main sprinter, Pacioni, was the victim of such a crash in the finale. While I didn’t contribute as much as I would have liked to the team’s efforts, young riders Rivi and Bais made an excellent job of attacking the breakaways and scoring points in the intermediate classifications. With Belletti being the highest placed finisher for the team (25th), the team’s morale still seemed high, despite it not being the dream result we targeted”.
In a more stable scenario, with the arrival of a busy cycle of races in Italy in March, Archibald’s mind is more focused on not being at home again than on the specific destination to put on a new race bib. “As of now I join the team’s next training camp in Oliva, finishing out a training period before moving onwards to Italy and continuing my race program over there. Let’s hope I don’t spend a single ride indoors between now and then; I have my fingers crossed”.
[ Atila Madrona]