John Archibald back in action with EOLO-Kometa at French stage race

Milngavie cyclist John Archibald returned to international elite road racing action this week at the Tour of Poitou-Charentes.

John Archibald is back in elite road racing action at this week's Tour de Poitou-Charentes (pic: Maurizio Borserini)

The four-day race, which began on Tuesday, is the 30-year-old’s first outing for his EOLO-Kometa team since the Tour of Asturias in April.

Archibald warmed up for his return in style with a powerful ride in the Lake District last week to successfully defend his National 25-mile Time Trial Championship.

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And time trialling being his natural discipline and with a 23.5 kilometre time trial stage included in the Poitou-Charentes Tour – and potentially being decisive in terms of the of the overall general classification – it’s a race which is more likely to suit Archibald’s talents more than the hills he encountered in Asturias.

He said: “I feel good. I’ve just won the UK National 25-mile time trial, so the feeling is good.

"Coach Carlos Barredo has been giving me more sessions lately and I’m feeling good.

"It’s been a while since I took part in a UCI class race, so I’ll have to wait until this race to see how my form really is and how I assimilate the competition.”

Archibald admitted he has found the step from mainly track to elite road racing a difficult one.

He told the Velo Veriyas website: “It’s not been a revelation but it’s been difficult to impose myself in races where there’s so much depth to the fields – there are 150 guys all with similar numbers to you.

“I’ve not had a huge amount of racing but it’s been a good experience, learning about how a team is organised and honing my bunch riding skills.

“The race I have ridden, Classica Almeira, Trofeo Laigueglia, Tirreno and Vuelta Asturias have all had extremely strong fields with full World Tour team representation, so it’s all been very high level racing.”

“I have a one year contract with EOLA Kometa so I’ll have to see if I get a renewal.

"If not then I’ll re-commit to the track with the Commonwealth Games in mind.

“The British track national championships are in January with qualifying times for the Games closing in March so I’ll just have to see how things develop – but I haven’t touched my track bike since January.”