Archibald ready to spark surge in Scottish cycling as Women's Tour of Scotland gets underway

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09/08/2019 at 12:00 | Updated 09/08/2019 at 12:00

She may already be an Olympic, Commonwealth, World and multiple European Champion, but Katie Archibald is always looking for the next challenge.

Turns out, that challenge is on her own doorstep. Archibald will lead the Scottish team at the inaugural Women's Tour of Scotland when it gets underway in Dundee tomorrow, taking on 15 of women's cycling elite groups from around the world.

The 25-year-old is one of Scotland's most successful cyclists but this weekend, it's not about her – she is determined to put women's cycling out in front.

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From riding on the track for the first-time in Milngavie to becoming an ambassador for the first-ever tour to be brought before a men's, Archibald can't wait to join forces with Team Scotland on her home roads to show off the very best of what women's cycling has to offer.

"I feel so proud and privileged to be part of this wonderful event," said Archibald.

"Being on a bike has been part of my life forever.

"Growing up, my family would always be putting the bikes in the back of the car and going out on trips- I've probably fallen off my bike as many times as I've fallen in love with it!

"It's always been a family affair, so it's completely surreal that I will be leading Scotland close to the same roads I used to ride on at such a huge event for women's cycling.

"It is going to be amazing for the Scottish Cycling Team. We don't get many chances to ride together outside of the Commonwealth Games – which is weird to say – so we are thrilled to have this fantastic opportunity on home soil."

As the first tour of its kind to be instituted before a men's equivalent and the first to offer parity in prize money from day one, The Women's Tour of Scotland is a landmark event in women's cycling.

The three-day, three-stage race starts at Slessor Gardens in Dundee and will stretch across five cities, as well as over various climbs such as the breath-taking Duke's Pass, before concluding in Edinburgh on August 11.

And with over 100,000 spectators expected to attend, Archibald firmly believes the tour will be the tipping point for women's cycling in Scotland.

"In five years' time I want to be able to look back and say, yes, I was at the first-ever Women's Tour of Scotland.

"When I was younger, women's cycling shown on television always seemed to be this foreign unachievable goal that was far away. I thought only famous people did it or professionals and that they were untouchable unknowns.

"Participation and inspiration go hand in hand. I'm hoping an event like this will demystify that by bringing women's cycling to people's front doors.

"At first I felt nervous, but after seeing that the second stage route goes very close to my home roads, I felt so excited to get out there and ride."

Sportsbeat 2019

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