Shane Sutton, the technical director of British Cycling, has criticised team pursuit rider Katie Archibald after a motorbike accident forced her out of Britain's squad for the UCI Track World Championships next week. Sutton questioned Archibald's decision to ride a motorbike in wet conditions, especially in an Olympic year.
Archibald was named in British Cycling's 21-rider line-up but it was confirmed yesterday that she would miss the competition as a result of a ruptured ligament she suffered last month. Initially, Archibald said that the crash that caused her injury happened while riding her bike, but she admitted recently that it had actually been a motorbike that she was riding at the time.
Archibald was due to line up in the team pursuit at the World Championships in London, which start on Wednesday. Britain's women's team pursuit squad has dominated the discipline in recent years, although it is actually Australia that go into the event as defending champions. The loss of Archibald will be a big blow for the British team as they look to reverse the result of a year ago.
“I was a bit shocked to say the least,” Sutton said, according to The Telegraph. “She made a bad choice. That's what I said to her: 'Everything you do between now and the Games is about choices. You know, do you choose to go on the p*** with someone when you really shouldn't? Because every time you do that is a little dent in your recovery process.'
“That was a really bad choice on her part but it's not for us to sit here and tell her she can't ride a motorbike. They are grown ups. They have a life to live. And of course you could get hit by a car riding your bike. These things happen. But life is about choices. And the choices you make will govern your outcome. And she made a bad choice there. Inexperienced, raining, riding your motorbike… crazy.”
The UCI Track World Championships take place between March 2-6.