KATIE ARCHIBALD will be one of the star attractions at the British Track Cycling Championships which begin in Manchester on Friday as the 23 year-old attempts to successfully defend the three titles that she won at last year’s event.

The Milngavie rider has had a hugely successful couple of years, winning Olympic gold in 2016 before following that up last year with her first individual world title and she is hoping to continue that form into 2018.

However, Archibald knows that the strength-in-depth of talent within British cycling means that competition will be stiff and that retaining her titles is not a foregone conclusion. “I’m defending three titles at nationals and there are threats from everywhere, which brings pressure and anxiety, but it’s exciting,” she said. “I think that if I was any other nation, I would envy the strength in depth that we have in terms of women’s endurance.”

One of Archibald’s biggest rivals will be her compatriot, Neah Evans, who has had some close battles with the Olympic champion in recent years and the 27 year-old is motivated to create an upset or two over the weekend. ““Katie was just constantly ahead of me last year,” she said. “She always had the upper hand which was a bit frustrating. I’ll be riding a similar schedule at this year’s championships so hopefully I’ll get a little bit of revenge.”

Other Scots in in the hunt for national titles will be Olympic team sprint champion Callum Skinner , World cup gold medallist Mark Stewart and defending points race champion Joe Nally as well as Archibald’s brother, John.