A conversation over a couple of beers in Spain has steered Shane Archbold back to the track.

The Kiwi cyclist has been without a professional road team since Irish outfit Aqua Blue Sport folded in August, and has returned to the track over the past five weeks with an eye cast towards trying to compete in the re-instated Madison event at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Archbold's Aqua Blue Sport teammate and fellow Kiwi Aaron Gate has also re-committed to the track, and has been based in the same Spanish city as Archbold - Girona, where the pair came up with their plan.

"It came about two or three beers into an afternoon here in Spain with Aaron, when we decided we definitely should give it a go," said Archbold.


The pair have already raced in London and Switzerland, where they finished fourth, before racing at an event in Portugal over the weekend, finishing fifth in the Madison at the Trofeu Internacional Municipio de Anadia.

Archbold says he's fallen back in love with the track discipline.

"With the Madison becoming an Olympic event, it's always been my favourite race in terms of all cycling so it's quite exciting. I'm not really talking anything long term, but just in the meantime trying to get back on the track."

Archbold's last serious involvement on the track was his gold medal win in the scratch race at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, while Gate last raced at the 2016 Olympics in the team pursuit.

Archbold says he hadn't ridden on the track for so long that he thought he'd be retiring from the discipline a winner.

"You only ever remember your last race, so that was a good one to have in the memory for four years, but it definitely came a time that I needed to get back into racing on the track and it's been very enjoyable. A lot of suffering, but it's good to be back."

Archbold has already achieved his previous track goal of riding at the 2012 Olympics, and road target of competing at the 2016 Tour de France - where he was unable to finish after suffering a serious pelvis injury on the 17th stage.

He says now the goals are to either go to the Olympics and win a medal, or ride in the Tour of France and finish.

"I would have been happy concentrating purely on the road for the next year, but that opportunity wasn't there so it's exciting to change the goal again and go back to the track. It'd be an absolute dream to go to the 2020 Olympics but I'm definitely not thinking that far down the line just yet, I've got to get through the small steps first"

However, Archbold says as the Olympics are less than two years away, it won't fill in the rest of his sporting career.

He says either during or post 2020, he wants to go back to being a professional road rider.

"Under the circumstances that I've been through the last two years, it's unfinished business there that's for sure. But with the track popping up, every day my ideas change with what I truly want so I don't sort of think about them too much, I just go from one to the other and hopefully it pans out."