Blog: Sarah Storey

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Blog: Sarah Storey

Posted: 28th April 2011
Time Trialling and chocolate eggs

Easter weekend is traditionally a time trial weekend for me and this year was no different as I had two lined up in preparation for the Paracycling Road World Cup on a technical circuit around the Sydney Olympic Park in early May.

Good Friday saw the Buxton Mountain Time Trial, whilst Easter Monday was a return to the Chelford 10 course which is the bread and butter course for any time trial riders in the south Manchester area.

Mountain Time Trials sound horrific but fortunately the weather was glorious, had it been raining then it could have made the course a bit tricky, but with clear blue skies a cheeky wind and no flat sections of road, unless you count the crest of a hill, it was a tough but very enjoyable course. The start was in a village south of Buxton called Longnor, then the course dropped away almost immediately before a sudden rise and the longest section of climbing on the course. This flattened out towards the top so for those of us using tribars it was possible to get back in the aero position and drive seated up the climb. The gradual descent to the next climb was all sweeping corners, despite the narrow country lanes and it was great fun whizzing through the hedges on the tribars.

The course then climbed on arguably the steepest section but not for long and then dropped again to the first junction on the A53. With a sizeable crowd here cheering the riders through we joined the A53 and headed south again. After three miles or so there was a sharp turn off the main road and a short rise before the mainly descending section of road back to Longnor. I say mainly descending because there were some draggy uphill sections but with many of them coming immediately after a good long run of fast descending they could all be taken using the momentum of the downhill and it was fun to try and keep the speed up.

The fastest descent headed through a narrow section with a tricky right hander at the bottom but it was not a slow corner and once you were through here it was almost downhill all the way to the finish line. For me in the women's event there was one further lap to complete to make up the 22 miles of the race and with my finishing time of 1 hour and 25 seconds the average speed was definitely one of the lowest I have seen in a national event. I'd managed to catch a few riders and take the win too!

The men completed three laps in total and were still going strongly as I left with Barney's Dad to ride back home. It was a brilliant ride back and the final descent was down Long Hill which is the location for this year's hill climb Championships. It's not a traditional hill climbing course, with sweeping wide bends and a very gradual gradient but for descending home and admiring the views across the Goyt Valley, it was perfect.

After a nail biting victory for Manchester United at Old Trafford on the Saturday I did a short sharp session on the ride home. 60km in 1 hour 45 minutes with the promise of an early Easter egg and cake at the finish! Sometimes it's the short sharp sessions that are the hardest and the challenge of the ride was not dropping below 30kph on the climb up the A6 from Hazel Grove towards Lyme Park. I think the wind must have been with me, because I just about managed it!

Easter Sunday saw the rare return of the family peloton, with my brother and Barney's Dad joining Barney and I on a steady four hours with some climbing towards the end. I say family peloton in the loosest sense, as my brother is a hockey and cricket player, so borrowed Barney's Mountain Bike and joined us for the first 20 minutes before heading off road declaring he had no idea how we managed to sit on the saddle for such long periods. With the sniff of a climb the Storey boys opted for the flatter route home and I was left to find the Brickworks on my own!

As the bank holiday wore off, until next weekend, it was time to race again and the very straightforward, out and back course of the 10 miles at Chelford.

This course is my regular Wednesday night club course and so very familiar with the predominantly down hill section to the turn at Knutsford and then draggy uphill section back. With the wind picking up throughout the afternoon it was a strong headwind for almost 6 miles out, but then getting the benefit of that on the way home meant I almost equalled my personal best to ride a 21 minutes 51 seconds and come 4th overall, beaten by Adam Duggleby, Jack Green and Alex Royle.

After the previous two time trials prior to Cheshire Classic and on Good Friday, this 10 mile effort felt like something of a sprint and with some good numbers on the SRM graph afterwards it seems the Time Trial training is now back where I would hope it to be.

This week I'll race the 10 mile course again on Wednesday night before packing up and heading south for Horizon Fitness Prendas's first stage race of the year at the Bedford 2 day. Once that is over I'll be hopping straight on a plane to Sydney to put the good work of the last few time trials into practice at the 1st Paracycling Road World Cup of 2011.

It's a busy few weeks but I'll get on to some more blogging during the few hours I'll be sat on a plane!

Bye for now

Sarah x