Sarah Storey: Back to blogging!

It’s been a while since my last update and since then a few things that have happened which fall into the “not so perfectly planned” category. I thought I’d save them up and put them to bed in one swoop!

The National 10 Championships was the last big race and whilst Horizon Fitness Prendas RT picked up the team prize, thanks to my 4th place, Dani King’s 6th and Joanna Rowsell’s 8th place, I couldn’t have cared less about results, I was just trying to finish in one piece. The course for the event was horrific, on a busy dual carriageway with no event warning signs and very little to inspire a quick time.

I was petrified during the recce the day before the race and this feeling didn’t subside until I was safely back on the rollers and grateful to hear there had been no incidents. I’m all for quick times at major events and it would be great to see a National Record get broken at a major event, but since Time Trialling is now the only arm of our road racing sport where the National Championships don’t get the benefit of closed roads, I don’t think I’ll be all that quick to enter them in future, at least not without doing some better research about the state of the course.

Following on from the Nationals, I got back into some great training, my form has been great since the start of the road season and I knew the low wattage average at the National 10 was pure fear and not poor form. My usual training week includes a mid week club 10 and on May 25th I headed off to the usual course in Chelford and set off to get some decent numbers under my belt. It was all going well, I was riding quick and catching riders inside the first 5 miles, the turn was okay and then I started to push into the headwind on the way back to the finish. Just 3km after the turn and only 12km into the race, disaster struck when the right side of my tribars failed and I got flung over the front of the bike.

The exact cause is yet to be confirmed, but on examination of the bars after the crash, it looked to be that the carbon had failed under the elbow rest of the right arm, there was a loud crack and the momentum of me leaning on the bar that failed meant I, or anyone else for that matter, was ever going to save the subsequent tumble over the handlebars. I was going about 30mph, so the speed meant I rolled a few times and escaped any broken bones. As I landed, the metal of the elbow rest stabbed my right abdominals and I literally ripped a hole in my right elbow. Both these wounds needed three stitches each which I eventually received at Macclesfield Hospital some six hours later!

It wasn’t that I had hung around the HQ after the crash and had a chat before heading off the get stitched up. The hospitals triage system really was so bad that I was made to wait while the staff saw sprained ankles, people who should have attended fracture clinic not A+E, as well as a whole host of other time wasters. Sat in my cubicle listening to the waste of space conversations that were happening and the staff discussing their diets, love lives and plans for the weekend, whilst intermittently arguing about who should have done what, was very frustrating.

I cleaned myself up when no one came to do it properly and was just about to leave and find my own needle and thread when a new staff came on shift and had to start dealing with the mess that had been left behind by the previous lazy lot. My treatment took about an hour longer than they’d expected because they were scrubbing the dried blood off my road rash to check there was no grit left!

So stitched up and dosed up on antibiotics that were going to kill any skin eating bugs I may have found on the road, I went home for a few days of enforced R+R and the delights of keeping the battered limbs loose on the turbo!

It always seems like a long time when you can’t get out on the bike, but for me on this occasion it was only a week and I was back out for an easy couple of hours under the ever watchful eye of my husband, Barney! My stitches were out after another couple of days and it couldn’t have come soon enough because it meant I was then able to race the 25 mile Time Trial I’d entered the following day. I was chuffed to bits! The only slight problem from a TT-ers point of view was that I didn’t have a Time Trial bike and couldn’t have rested on my elbow anyway as the hole in my elbow was still there because the stitches hadn’t really worked quite as well as intended.

My Horizon Fitness Prendas team bike is a Dolan Hercules, it’s a light, stiff and fast frame and feels good for solo breakaways. Realising that you can never get enough practice in for those rare chances to make a solo break in a race, I decided I should do the 25 mile TT on my road bike and get in some much needed practice of pushing out big watts in a not so super aero position. In the end it was a good confidence booster, I clocked a 59.07 and averaged one of my highest powers on “25” in quite a while. It was great to win and even after only a 9 day lay off, get back in the swing of good racing. I’d missed three events being stitched up and out of full training, so although the number of days wasn’t very many, I felt like I’d missed loads!!

So now the training is fully back underway and everything is healed apart from the elbow which is getting there more slowly.

As I write this, I am gazing up at the last bits of snow on the mountains above Aviemore, as I am currently sat in the window of a B+B where I’m staying for just one night before travelling further north and the destination of the drive, John O Groats. Saturday 11th June sees the start of the 2011 Deloitte Ride Across Britain as Deloitte’s London 2012 Sports Ambassador I am riding alongside a whole host of fundraisers trying to raise money to provide Great Britain’s Paralympic Team with the best preparation possible going into next year’s Home Games. Barney is with me and riding the whole event too and with 1000 miles to do over 9 days, it is not going to be an easy task. We have my parents with me as support and if you’d like to donate to us we have a page at

I’ll be blogging on a daily basis, telling you about the route and the people we have met on the way. It’s an epic trip, one that I did last year and it was great for my training. I’ll be mentioning the various tricks of the trade we have for staying sane on a ride of this length and keeping you updated with the products and nutrition we have used to make it all possible. Barney will also be blogging and as Type 1, Insulin Dependent Diabetic, he will be providing an insight into how he manages his energy and sugar levels during the journey.

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