Dame Sarah Storey has found more speed while training for the hour record – thanks to a new position on the bike – and hopes to exploit it at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships.
The British Cycling Paralympic Podium Programme athlete and C5 individual pursuit world record holder made the improvement by questioning everything in the build-up to the record attempt, which will take place at round five of the Revolution Series on Saturday 28 February.
“There has never been as much scrutiny on my position as now,” Storey explained.
"We’ve found some interesting things out – people say that you must get longer and lower. We’ve found that coming up a little bit and going narrower is more effective.
“So my position that I’ve been using in London and previously with Great Britain is potentially in the wrong position, so that has forced us to look to change that by the track worlds.
“Those things have been interesting and I think it just shows that you can constantly be making improvements for yourself and it really is the athlete responsibility.”
Playing such an analytical role is new to Storey, but an aspect she is enjoying working alongside husband Barney.
It won’t only help her during the hour record, but also at March’s 2015 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships, where Britain’s most decorated female Paralympian hopes to earn even more gold.
“The things that we’ve discovered are going to be really interesting when applied to the individual pursuit,” Storey enthused.
“When you’re trying to knock on that door of three minutes 30 seconds, all these little tweaks that we know will help me try to break that barrier come Rio.”
It was first suggested Storey attempt the hour record after her stunning performance at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, where she led the women’s road race peloton by a staggering seven minutes – catching the men’s race in the process.
But initially she was intimidated by the challenge – only to entertain the idea, two years and one child later. Storey’s reasoning was twofold, as she explained.
“When you get the offer extended to you, as I have, from the Revolution guys and all their support and infrastructure it’s not something I could have done by myself, I needed that support for them to put the event on and make it happen.
“I would never have imagined being back at the London velodrome for this purpose and one of the reasons I accepted the challenge was because we realised the process to get to the hour was going to be very valuable for everything else in cycling as well.”
The UCI will be broadcasting Storey’s hour record attempt live on its YouTube channel at 2.30pm on Saturday.
Tickets are still available to watch at the Lee Valley Velopark in London.