Sarah Storey Diary (April 12)


Sarah Storey Diary (April 12)

Story posted April 12, by Sarah Storey

Horizon Fitness rider, Sarah Storey is having a busy season already and has sent us the following diary from her racing last weekend where a convincing victory was the highlight.

British Time Trial Victory for Paracycling World Champion
The second round of the National Time Trial series in the UK, the Rudy Project series, was held in Hampshire on Saturday 10th April and for a welcome change it was an afternoon start, quite unusual for a UK time trial!

I travelled back from Belgium with Barney Storey) during the week after the Dottignies race and we stayed in the south of England and spent some time training in the area of the race, using the 24 miles of the course as the focal point. It was to be the start of spring and the weather in the UK was simply glorious, so we made the most of the sunshine by spending a few hours each day checking out the course and making sure I was sufficiently rested after the efforts in Belgium.

By race day I was feeling good and the clear blue skies and breeze coming in from the east seemed to suggest that it would be a tough head wind for the homeward section of the course. There were only 11 women starting this round but with several of the field looking for Commonwealth Games selection, it was going to be a hard fought race over the undulating and often sticky road surface of the course.

 The start was around 3.5 miles of generally uphill gradient through a narrow lane that reminded me of many of the roads we had traversed in Belgium. After a short descent under the M3 motorway bridges, the course took an uphill left turn onto the A30 for the 7 mile long straight and undulating section down the back of the course. Barney was stood at the side of the road and indicated I was 30 seconds up after this first short section.

 Maintaining speed and efficiently using the momentum of the downhill section was the key to this section on the main road and then we took a sharp left onto the stickiest section with plenty of road noise and a false flat that gave everyone's legs a real battering. By this point I was around a minute up and caught my 4 minute rider up on a slightly steeper rise before a quick descent to another tight left hander.

The organiser had done a great job brushing the gravel off these corners so it was possible to go through much faster than when I rode the course in training. The long straight roads gave me sight of my 2 minute girl and as we headed through our first small village to another tight left hander and the short section to rejoin the undulating main road again, the gap had dropped and I was 1 minute 20 seconds ahead.

Despite having to come to a near standstill due to traffic on the main road I quickly regained momentum and retraced the same fast section to the left hander back onto the sticky road. I was closing in on my 2 minute girl and picking off several junior riders who had started just after us and were doing a slightly shorter route. The main descent of the course was a little twisty and I passed my 2 minute girl here before the fast left hander on to the final stretch to the finish.

 By this point I was concentrating on keeping the pace as high as possible as the head and crosswinds tried their hardest to slow us down. As the final kilometre approached I could see my 6 minute girl and this gave me the last bit of motivation to really wind it up and I caught her as we crossed the finish line.

Prior to the race, it was hard to judge what would be a fast time as although the distance was similar to the first round, the course was definitely quicker, although by no means a dual carriageway style event. I'd hoped to get under the hour, but actually managed a sub 59 and finished with a 58.52, 2 minutes 25 ahead of Michelle King who finished in 1 hour 1 minute and 27. Third was Jane Kilmartin, Michelle's team mate who clocked a 1 hour 3 minutes and 54.

 It was a decent time in the overall, only 6 of the men doing the same course went faster, and I was pleased with my recovery since the race at Dottignies. Next, we turn the focus towards UK based Road Racing and I'll be part of a Horizon Fitness team at the first round of the Women's Team Series promoted by Twickenham CC next Sunday.

 Ciao! :-) Sarahx

Please take time out to back our "Keep Racing on the Roads" campaign to save Road racing by becoming a fan of our dedicated facebook page