Dutch cycling superstar Kirsten Wild on track to renew rivalry with Great Britain's Katie Archibald at Glasgow 2018
Wild, the World Champion in the omnium, scratch and points races, will defend her European title in the elimination race and knows she faces tough competition from local hero Archibald.
Dutch sensation Kirsten Wild has won more World and European titles in the past 12 months than any other track cyclist in action at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships - yet she fears that the home crowd at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Emirates Arena, could provide a medal-winning boost to one of her biggest rivals.
Wild arrived in Glasgow as the World Champion in the omnium, scratch and points races, and will defend her European title in the elimination race.
But the 35-year-old will face a tough challenge from local favourite Katie Archibald (GBR). Archibald edged the Netherlands' rider into second place in the omnium at the 2017 European Championships in Berlin last October, and in the madison at the World Championships in Apeldoorn in March.
"Of course I feel that many people will expect something from me and will be watching me, but there are a lot of good riders here, like Katie Archibald,” Wild said. “She's from here, so I guess she wants to win, too, and she'll have all the public and the spectators cheering for her."
Archibald, who is also the European Champion in the individual pursuit, is fully aware that her rival is capable of some unstoppable performances.
"We're team-mates on the road this year, as we both ride for Wiggle High5," she said. "But at the [2018 UCI] World Championships in Apeldoorn - her home track event - she was head and shoulders above the rest of the world. If I'd been a spectator, it's a thrilling thing to watch. As a competitor, it's terrifying."
With two European Championships titles to defend, and Wild well primed to challenge, Archibald is conscious of spreading herself too thinly when the Glasgow 2018 action begins on 2 August.
"The priority is the Olympic events, so that's the team pursuit, omnium and madison," the rider said. “If something is going to take a hit, it's the individual pursuit."