Storey Racing kick off racing in Dorset & at Junior Gent Wevelgem

The first round of the National Time Trial Series was the opening race for the newly launched Storey Racing Team. A 7 strong team headed to the Dorset countryside for what proved to be a tough and challenging course to the north of the town of Wimborne Minster. A familiar area for Sports Director Barney Storey, who was born a couple of miles down the road, the course had also been the location of his first ever time trial in his schooldays.

A lumpy, untechnical circuit on busy fast roads greeted the riders but the sun was shining for both the course recce and the race itself.

EJay Harris led the team home with a 4th place finish whilst Jen George in her time trialling debut dipped under the Hour mark to finish 6th. Monica Dew was the 3rd rider home for the team in her first year as an under 23 having won the Junior National TT Series in 2016. These 3 riders secured top team in the women’s event, whilst Sarah Storey, Beth Crumpton and Laura Cameron secured the prize for 2nd in the team classification. Katie Prankerd made her return to road racing after a frustrating summer of illness last year and showed all the promise of her previous form in the event.

Luck hadn’t been on the side of our team captain prior to the start of the race, with a common fault of the Shimano Di2 rear mech deciding to rear it’s ugly head during the final bike checks. Quickly swapped to her Boardman SLR, as there was no time to replace the rear mech on the TTE bike, Sarah took on the race the hard way without any of the aerodynamic advantages of the full TT set-up.

Speaking after the presentations, Barney Storey was satisfied with a strong showing in their first outing as a team. “Starting the racing season with a Time Trial is a great option as it gives everyone a bit more time and allows them to assess their form without the pressure of a road race. I was delighted to see EJay returning to the top 5 of an event like this, after a challenging end to 2016 after her Ovarian Cancer diagnosis. Jen George, Laura Cameron and Beth Crumpton were all competing in their first ever Time Trial over 20 miles, so it was great to see them getting stuck in and returning after the race with all the motivation you would expect of fast learning riders keen to put what they had experienced in to practice next time.”

“Katie Prankerd has a good solid ride, which is all the more impressive when you know about the health challenges she’s had and our most experienced TT rider had to draw on that experience and not panic when the mechanical occurred. Of course at a major Championships you have a spare TT bike, but in the smaller races it’s about jumping on the next available option and Sarah put in a fantastic performance despite that last minute switch.”

In addition to the team racing in Dorset, there was also international representation for Mercy Webb, who join Backsted-HotChillee for the Junior Gent Wevelgem race. The huge 150 rider field had varying levels of technical ability and a fast opening lap meant there were numerous crashes to contend with. Mercy was unfortunate to get caught behind an early crash but showed great strength in being one of only a few riders to regain contact with the race. A crash which brought her down then caused a split that she was unable to recover and the riders outside of the 5 minute time gap were then pulled from the race prior to the finish. Despite the disappointment of being unable to finish after the crash Mercy was excited by everything she had learned, with the most exciting part being she will still be a junior in 2018 and so can revisit the race for a second time.