Blog: More Rainbow Stripes for Sarah Storey

Sarah writes … Just over 12 hours after finishing the British Time Trial Championships I was heading out to Denmark to join up with the Paracycling team ahead of the Road World Championships which started today near the centre of this historic city.

The team has been staying in the centre of the town, close to the impressive Roskilde Cathedral and in a hotel that boasts it is one of the most beautiful and historic in Denmark. The site of the hotel can be traced back to 1695 although the building today is from 1875 and looks like a stately home when viewed from the pedestrian street at the front of the ornate building.

The course here consists of a 15.5km loop which takes riders out of the city and into some local villages before winding back into a false flat section in the start and finish straight. Although quite flat, with only 56m of climbing in each lap, the wind has been quite strong and seems to strength into the late morning and afternoon.

My Road Time Trial was one of the first events of the Championships but with a start time of 11.10am there was no need for any unsociable get ups as I have had in the past with racing starting at 8am! The threat of rain never materialised but the wind was strong again and would definitely add a bit of spice to the handling for any rider who chose their front wheel badly!

As defending Champion I had the honour of going off last in my field and whilst this makes time checks easier, it adds to the butterflies at the start as whilst rolling round to keep warm and ready for my own race, I had to watch my competitors start and wish that my start time would hurry up! Eventually I was on the start ramp and set off for the short section into the first right hander and onto a 4km stretch of the circuit that was one straight line and the perfect place to get the power down and make up some early distance on the riders in front of me.

By the first corner I was catching my one minute rider and managed to power past before the road narrowed and the first quite short section of rolling roads that contained some good flowing corners. Exiting through a small village, for a time check from my Dad and my Mum waving the GB flag, and then over the obligatory speed bump I started to come into a bit of traffic. For some reason, four rogue public cars had found their way onto the circuit and were waiting behind the car following another of my competitors. With the GB car sounding the horn at full blast I had the energy surge to blast up the outside [which was unfortunately the long way round!] and take a leaf out of Fabian Cancellera’s book and try to get through the next couple of corners without being held up too much!

By this point the cross wind was starting to make the race quite interesting and with the road moving gradually left and right there was plenty of time to be made up by taking the straight lines, so I caught another couple of riders. The final 2km had a short rise then into the right hander of the long start and finish straight. After that it was up the left hand side of the road and over a roundabout to the finish line. This section had a headwind and being slightly uphill meant the finish was really quite tough. I was glad to have had all that practice on the local “10” course in Cheshire on the windy nights we’ve enjoyed this past summer!

Barney had been standing at the bottom of the rise into the final 2km and indicated I was about 1 minute 30 seconds up on the second placed rider, 40 seconds better off than the time check I’d had from Dad just before the halfway mark. Crossing the finish line the official margin was 1 minute and 37 seconds, and for my highest average power over that distance of the year so far. Smiles all round and for me such a huge relief to have been able to retain the title with a bigger winning margin over a shorter distance than last year.

Standing on the podium was, as ever, amazing. Being announced onto the top of the rostrum as the World Champion sends a shiver down my spine and being presented with the white jersey brings such a big grin to my face. Thank you to everyone who has helped me with the preparation, training and build up to be able to win today. Of course Barney needs to take a huge slice of the credit. I know it might sound cheesy, saying I couldn’t have done it without my husband, but as everyone knows who have seen us at races without his mechanic skills, the scraping me off the road when the bars snapped earlier in the season and driving me the length and breadth of the UK and much of Europe to race, I wouldn’t have been in a position to ride like I did today!

Tomorrow is an easy day, the chance to cheer on some of my team mates and get ready and focused for the Road Race on Saturday.

Result of Sarah’s Race

Other Results

Team Storey Sport Website

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