Featured image by Chris Lawrence
With the ongoing global pandemic continuing to affect sporting competition opportunities, the Storey Racing team have been delighted to get back out to some events over the past couple of months. And, as you would expect from the team, despite the limitations, the riders have had some fantastic success.
Irish National Time Trial Champion, Kelly Murphy, was the first rider to pin on a race number as she returned to her native Ireland in mid July to race out the season on home soil. With a mix of road racing, time trials and track events on offer, Kelly has been eating up the race miles with impressive success. Victory at Track National Championships with an outdoor record over 3000m in both qualifying and finals has been one of the highlights. There’s also been numerous opportunities to compete in open races and at the hilly Leinster Autumn Classic she secured a top 10 finish. Kelly now sets her sights on the Road National Championships in October.
Zoe Backstedt was another rider who headed away for a block of racing outside of the UK and in the final few months as a Youth rider has had some impressive success racing in the U17 category in Europe. Her most recent race was at the U17 Watersley Ladies Challenge, where she took overall victory after 3 impressive days of racing. Day 1 was a 6km prologue around the Tom Dumoulin Bike Park which saw a close run race with Zoe taking 3rd on the stage. Stage 2 was a 41km race, again around the Tom Dumoulin Bike Park, and after a 2 up breakaway, Zoe took 2nd on the stage to move in to the leaders jersey. In the final stage there was everything to play for and after another 2 up breakaway ride, Zoe sprinted to not just victory on the stage, but the overall win too. Zoe now has her sights set on a full winter of cyclocross racing and there will be more updates to come and this season gets closer.
As a first year under 23, Lucy Gadd was hoping to be working alongside the senior riders in the peloton to build further on the impressive progress she made in her final year as a junior in 2019. When lockdown started her race season was quickly refocused and the individual time trial became a clear target. Impressive rides at the Virtual Women’s Tour and in the weekly TTT on the Zwift platform with WTRL Racing, gave her the perfect platform to take on the Time Trials being held across the south of the UK.
The Goodwood events provided a great starting point and with some power PB’s under her belt, Lucy went on to claim victory in the South Division 25 mile Championships. Just one week later it was the National 10 mile Championship and more power PB’s led to a hugely impressive second placed ride in the Under 23 women’s category, ahead of some seasoned time triallists.
Resplendent in her world champ stripes, team captain Dame Sarah Storey has also been able to get back out to racing action and in winning the women’s event also took the course record in the Common Lane Occasionals 10 mile Time Trial event, to the east of Doncaster. Sarah had, like Corrine Hall and Katie Toft, been hoping to have just returned from the Tokyo Paralympics this week and so the performance to produce the course record was very timely to show the work of lockdown had been of the highest quality.
There’s also been plenty of race action for Charlotte Parnham, Katie Toft and Chanel Mason, all of whom have taken on some challenging rides as part of their programmes. Katie has been focusing on some of the hillier TT’s, whilst Chanel took on her first 100 mile event! For Charlotte, a return to track racing is hopeful for later in the autumn and in the meantime she has been producing some exceptional results on the TT bike.
For Corrine Hall, the focus has very much been consistent training, complemented with online racing and she led the team during July and early August in the WTRL Women’s TTT Premier League events.
With around a month left of the UK road racing season, all riders are looking to finish off the shortened season with some good performances and the main aim will be at the Thruxton Closed Circuit event on Sunday 11th October. Don’t forget to keep an eye on our social media feeds for race by race content!