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Katie Archibald marks return from injury with BeNe Ladies Tour Prologue victory

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Katie Archibald has returned from injury in emphatic style with victory in the opening prologue of the BeNe Ladies Tour in Oosterhout, Netherlands. The Olympic, World and Commonwealth Track Champion completed the 3.9km course in a time of four minutes, 42.36 seconds, with an incredible average speed of 49.7kph, which was 11 seconds faster than the previous best, set by European Road Race Champion Marianne Vos (Waowdeals Pro Cycling). Pernille Mathiesen (Danish National Team) finished in third place, another second back.

“It felt painful until it was confirmed that I was fastest time, and then it didn’t feel so bad!” Archibald laughed. “I think it was an odd kind of pressure because you say, four kilometres for a track rider seems perfect, but of the few prologues I’ve done in the past I’ve had high expectations and not followed through – places like the Tour of Norway, and Elsy Jacobs – so, yeah, I’m really, really happy.”

The BeNe Ladies Tour, which takes its name from the fact it has stages in both Belgium and the Netherlands, is Archibald’s first race since breaking her collarbone in a crash during the second stage of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour. The 24-year-old Scot has regained her form, however, as she works towards her summer targets.

“There were so many crashes in that stage that could have been completely inconsequential, but I just went into the back of somebody’s saddle – someone else that had crashed – so that was a pain,” she explained.

“But I feel good now. I think this is what I feel good for now, we’ve got track Europeans in a couple of weeks and all my prep’s going towards that. This goes really well with that preparation.”

Archibald’s victory means that she will wear the pale blue BeNe Ladies Tour Leader’s jersey into the first stage, which will start and finish in Merelbeke, Belgium. The fast, flat racing should suit Archibald’s track preparation, just as she expects it to be good for her fellow track riders.

“I’ve seen quite a few other European track riders here; people like Jolien [D’hoore, former Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling rider], Elisa Balsamo from Italy, and obviously Rachele [Barbieri] with our team, so I’m obviously expecting some fast racing, the kind you see on the track,” Archibald said.

“The challenge of course will be the cobbles, and if we see any wind this week, with all the tactics around it,” she added. “We’ll see how the team unfolds, and see how everyone else goes and see where that leaves us with jersey to defend or work towards.”

Result
1. Katie Archibald (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)

2. Marianne Vos (Waowdeals Pro Cycling)
3. Pernille Mathiesen (Danish National Team)

Photo Credit: Anton Vos

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