CHRIS HOY knows exactly what it takes to win Olympic medals. With six golds to his name, the now-retired cyclist remains Britain’s most successful Olympian, although Jason Kenny’s success in Rio means he is now tied with the Scot.

And so when Hoy, who knows just how much pain, commitment and effort it takes win one Olympic gold never mind multiples, says he believes that Katie Archibald has the potential to win three Olympic gold medals in Tokyo next summer, it’s worth listening to him.

Archibald already has an Olympic title to her name, winning gold as part of the women’s team pursuit at Rio in 2016.

But Hoy thinks she can go not one, but two better in Tokyo, with three golds a distinct possibility for the 25-year-old from Milngavie.

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“In Tokyo, Katie, depending on who gets selected for what event, could have a great shout at winning three gold medals,” Hoy said

“If she gets selected for three events, she could potentially win three gold medals. That would be absolutely massive.”

Archibald has been a mainstay in the team pursuit squad for a number if years and so her place in that event appears secure. There are also spots in the madison and the omnium up for grabs and with Archibald more than accomplished in both, she has every chance of being selected in both.

She won the omnium world title in 2017 before taking world gold the following year. For most athletes, those credentials would be more than enough to ensure selection for any national team. But not for GB. The strength-in-depth of the British cycling squad means that Archibald is far from guaranteed spots in either event, although is confident that if Archibald turns out in the madison with multiple Olympic gold medallist, Laura Kenny, the pair could be unbeatable.

“It’s Laura Katie races with in the madison, they’re the two strongest endurance riders in the world,” he said.

“If Katie gets the nod for the omnium, she could do well in that and in the team pursuit, they have all of the right pieces of the jigsaw, they just need to put it together on the day. So I have complete confidence that they will do very well in the team pursuit.”

Hoy knows exactly what it feels like to be going into an Olympic Games as defending champion, with all of the pressure that brings. And while he admits it is not always an easy position for an athlete to be in, he believes the fact that Archibald has suffered some defeats over the past few years may, in fact, help her cause in Tokyo.

“You suddenly have a target on your back when you’re defending Olympic champion,” he said.

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“The British girls are used to that though – you can see in the bunch races that every time they go on the attack and they make a move, everyone else responds to it and covers it and that’s one of the biggest challenges, is being the favourite. So in many ways, not winning every race, not winning every major championships between now and the Olympics isn’t a bad thing.

“I think Katie is so used to winning and she wants to win every race she does – it doesn’t matter whether it’s a track league or an Olympic Games so when she doesn’t win, she’s quite hard on herself.”

Hoy also has a particular interest in the development of Jack Carlin. The 22-year-old has established himself as a world-class sprinter in the past year-or-so and Hoy admits to being hugely impressed with his progress.

“Jack’s big breakthrough year was last year and he’s consolidated that,” he said of the Paisley rider, who won two world championship silvers last year.

“It’s fantastic to see a Scot doing so well – there’s been a great history of sprinting in Scotland. Jack’s very mature and able to deal with the pressure really well. And he also has the physical attributes too so thinks are looking good.”

Carlin is a vital member of the men’s team sprint, which also includes Jason Kenny and Hoy is optimistic that come Tokyo, he will have made himself a sure pick for Team GB.

“He’s really established himself as the person they’re going to pick as man 2 in the team sprint,” Hoy said of Carlin.

“At this stage in Olympic year, all you’re trying to do is get your name on the list to be selected and I think he’s doing a really good job of that. So I think he’ll be the favourite to ride that second lap in the team sprint. And also in the sprint, he’s been going well, consistently making major finals in the keirin too so he’s on target.”

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Archibald and Carlin are not the only Scots who are likely to be in Tokyo next summer, with Neah Evans having established herself as a regular in the women’s team pursuit squad over the past couple of years. Hoy is hugely complimentary of how Evans has worked her way into the team and admits he would be delighted to see her make her Olympic debut in Tokyo.

“It’s tough for Neah because the British team have this embarrassment of riches with riders who are right up there on the women’s endurance side of things,” he said.

“The women’s endurance consistently perform at the highest level and win medals and almost flatter the overall team when you look at the medal table because they do so well.

“The downside of that though is that it’s very hard to get in the team so for Neah, she’s done very well to break into that team and she’s represented Britain and Scotland brilliantly. So the big challenge for her moving forward is to make sure she’s on the start list for Tokyo.”