Dame Sarah Storey, who yesterday won the 14th Paralympic gold medal of her career, has staked a claim for a place in the Great Britain squad for next month’s UCI Road Cycling World Championships in Qatar’s capital, Doha.
Storey’s victory in the C4-5 road race at Rio followed her triumph in the C5 time trial on Wednesday, her wins on the road taking her tally in Brazil to three gold medals after she won the C5 individual pursuit at the velodrome.
The 38-year-old, who was born without a functioning right-hand, finished 12th behind Hannah Barnes in the road race and third to Hayley Simmonds in the time trial at the national championships in June this year.
With the time trial course in Qatar not suiting Emma Pooley, who finished 14th in the time trial at the Rio Olympics last month, Storey said after her win against the clock on Wednesday that she’d welcome the chance to compete at the world championships.
Besides the time trial, where Great Britain has two spots, if selected she would also take part in the road race, with Lizzie Armitstead looking to defend the title she won in Richmond, Virginia last year.
"I'd love to get the opportunity to ride in Qatar – hot and windy and flat, just like this, but with some corners, which I think will suit me as much as a hilly, technical circuit," said Storey, quoted on Skysports.com.
"I've put my name in the hat, don't know whether it will come out. I'm in great shape. I've got a big engine. When Lizzie's trying to defend her title, I can sit in the wind and cover moves.
Storey, who also rode the C4-5 500m time trial at Rio, finishing fourth, continued: "I thought there was a danger of me spreading myself too thinly, with trying to go back for four events.
"[But] I'm in better form than I ever expected, to be honest.
"I'm faster and better in the endurance events. I've put more time and more distance into my rivals than I did in London, which in some ways is disappointing. But for me it's really satisfying that my training's gone to plan."
Storey’s victory in the road race yesterday was overshadowed by the news that Iranian rider Bahman Golbarnezhad had died of a heart attack after crashing on a descent in the men’s c4-5 race.
She said on Twitter: “Devastating news. Thoughts to family, friends & the whole team.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.