'I loved him': Olympic cyclist Katie Archibald pays emotional tribute to partner Rab Wardell at his funeral

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Olympic cyclist Katie Archibald has paid an emotional tribute to her partner, mountain bike champion Rab Wardell, as he was laid to rest following his death aged 37.

Hundreds of people gathered for the funeral in Dunfermline, with the procession carrying Wardell's coffin joined by cyclists as it headed to the service.

The Scottish athlete died on 24 August after suffering a cardiac arrest while lying in bed with Archibald, who desperately tried to save him.

Speaking at the service, the Olympic gold medallist revealed how Wardell first told her he loved her while they were out on a bike ride together.

She recalled: "I was aghast, I said 'you can't say that here, in the rain, on a bike ride'.

"After chastising his timing, I told him the truth, that I loved him too.

"From then on I told him that every day. In some ways it's a comfort that Rab knew how much I loved him."

She said that when they were apart, he used to send her love songs, and a recording he sent to Archibald of himself playing You Can Talk To Me was broadcast to mourners.

In it he could be heard saying "So I had this funny idea to sing you this song", before telling her the "downside for me is it's all a little high for me, so I will strain and sound silly at some bits, but I'm not scared".

Mourners laughed when at the end of the song Wardell could be heard swearing as he said it had not been very good.

The Very Reverend Hunter Farquharson, conducting the service, told Archibald: "I didn't know you were going to keep that bit in."

Wardell had won the Scottish MTB XC Championships just days before his death and had appeared on television the evening of his death to talk about his victory.

After Wardell's death, Archibald - a two-time Olympic track cycling champion - described on social media how she tried to save his life.

"He went into cardiac arrest while we were lying in bed," she said.

"I tried and tried, and the paramedics arrived within minutes, but his heart stopped and they couldn't bring him back.

"Mine stopped with it. I love him so much and need him here with me. I need him here so badly, but he's gone. I can't describe this pain."

At the funeral, Wardell's father Jack joked about his son that in hindsight it was "no surprise he came in a rush, two days late" when he was born in June 1985.

He told mourners how much his son loved bikes, and ended his tribute by saying: "He has touched many people's hearts, and inspired many more.

"He made us laugh, he made us proud. Rest in peace."