Paralympian Sarah Storey finished the toughest day yet of the inaugural Deloitte Ride Across Britain having spent most of the day on her own – but still managed an average of 20mph over the hilly 130-mile route.
Day three of the nine-day challenge took the 600 riders from Fort William to East Kilbride, taking in Glen Coe and Loch Lomond on the way. Sarah started the day with husband Barney but lost him on the climb to Glen Coe.
“We were on the A82 all the way today and after the peace of the first two days it came as a bit of a shock to the system – there were one or two hairy moments on day two but nothing like the third day. It was like being on a motorway cycling along the side of Loch Lomond, you really had to keep your wits about you.”
In an exclusive interview with road.cc Sarah said she has nothing but admiration for her fellow Riders Across Britain. “I saw loads of people with trainers and flat pedals using mountain bike bars and hybrids and I say hats off to all of them. We’re here to act as figureheads and provide some inspiration for the regular riders but as far as I’m concerned they’re the inspirational ones – it’s them doing all the fund raising. After I’d passed the other riders and was going along that busy road it really brought a lump to my throat thinking about them. It was really intense on that road and I was scared so I can only imagine how they must have felt – but they just kept going.”
Sarah is in training for the British Road Race championships in Pendle on 27 June so she and her team have made themselves as self-sufficient as possible, with their own support team and accommodation arrangements. She said, “We wanted to make sure that if there were any teething problems with this event they wouldn’t affect us, but from what I’ve seen it’s running very smoothly.
“I’m not sure they were expecting us to ride as quickly as we have been though. It’s just not in our DNA to ride slowly so I’ve been averaging 200 watts, which isn’t bad for seven hours in the saddle. I don’t know if I’ll be able to sustain it for the whole ride – we’ll see. The only problem I’ve had has been saddle soreness but I had that in training in January and rode through it okay, so I’ll try to do the same here.”
The Ride Across Britain was the idea of Olympic rowing champion James Cracknell. The ride aims to raise £1million for ParalympicsGB.
Read more about Sarah Storey’s ride on her blog at onthedrops.com.