Paralympics road cycling Day 2: Sarah Storey becomes Britain's most successful Paralympian

Gold medal number 4 at London 2012 and 11 in total for athlete who switched from swimming to cycling

by Simon_MacMichael   September 6, 2012  

Sarah Storey (through wheel)

Sarah Storey has become the third British athlete to secure 11 Paralympic gold medals, joining former wheelchair athlete Dame Tanni-Grey Thompson and swimmer David Roberts after winning the C4-5 road race at Brands Hatch this afternoon. The ten silver and bronze medals the 34-year-old has won in a Paralympic career that began in the swimming pool at Barcelona 20 years ago - she switched to cycling ahead of Beijing in 2008 - make her the country's most successful Paralympian ever. Six of those golds have now come in cycling.

Storey, who won the C5 time trial at the same venue yesterday to add to the two golds she won on the track last week, dominated the race from start to finish with a solo attack, winning by more than seven minutes from silver medallist Anna Harkowska of Poland with Kelly Crowley of the United States taking bronze - the same podium, in the same order as in that time trial 24 hours earlier.

"I just can't believe I pulled it off today, I'm just so chuffed. It was so amazing, the crowds around the course and coming into the finish straight, every single lap I wanted to be able to say 'thank you' but obviously i had to keep my head down, make sure I made no mistakes.

The men's C1-3 road race had gone off just two minutes before the race Storey was in, with someone in the organisation presumably forgetting that the women's field included a rider who can more than hold her own with any of Britain's elite female cyclists - she finished fifth in the national road race championships in June, and until late last year was also a member of the Olympic team pursuit squad.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given the form she has been displaying and the cagey natire of the men's race, Storey caught them after going on a solo attack not long after the start, saying afterwards: "I tangled a bit with the guys, I was thinking, 'Please don't take me down, please don't take me down!

"To be honest I'd completely forgotten about them until I could see the back of their peloton, I was thinking, 'Oh no, the boys are there!' so the commissaires tracked me through okay, obviously they had a very tactical race, speeding up, slowing down.

"So in the end, we said 'Can we do some neutralising, either me and the girls or them?' and the commissaires neutralised the boys for a while and I just managed to hold them off, but I was dying."

It's been quite a week for the Storey household, with Sarah's husband Barney winning a gold and silver medal on the track, where he acts as pilot to Neil Fachie; if the couple were a nation, they would currently lie above New Zealand, Canada and South Africa on the medal table.

3 user comments

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Seems a silly situation to have just for want of a 15-30 minute gap between the men and women's races. I wonder if the guys were surprised to see her?!

Anyway, well done!

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3020 posts]
6th September 2012 - 17:25

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There might be some injuries in the men's peleton...

some bruised ego's Smile

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posted by Dutchie [52 posts]
6th September 2012 - 21:49

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I heard some of them were trying to grab her wheel... Big Grin

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7975 posts]
6th September 2012 - 22:29

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