The National Closed Circuit Time Trial event provided the only opportunity for Storey Racing riders to attend an event together in 2020, since the national lockdown on March 23rd led to the cancellation of our team launch event and ultimately the cancellation of all other events with virtually nothing rescheduled for the autumn as with the international professional calendar.
Everyone continues to be grateful to the organisers of the events that have gone ahead and hope this is able to continue through the winter with the winter disciplines, although with the cancellation of the National Track Masters, there continues to be a lot of uncertainty, and rider resilience and adaptability are key skills for the squad to work on.
Held over 5 laps of the Thruxton Motor Racing Circuit, this event has been a popular season closing event for the team in recent years and has enabled us to operate alongside mentored riders from the SKODA DSI Cycling Academy since 2019.
Corrine Hall made her road debut for the team alongside established team riders Lucy Gadd, in her first year under 23, Katie Toft and captain Dame Sarah Storey. Recent recruit, 1st year junior, Kinga Ingram, was also able to take advantage of the opportunity to join the wider team and meet the riders for the first time.
The SKODA DSI Academy sent 3 riders to the event and being able to operate as a larger team unit provided an ongoing mentoring and race service opportunity for Meg Dickerson, Rebecca Richards and aspiring para-cyclist, Morgan Newberry.
It was a fresh and windy morning as the riders warmed up in a revised pit area layout to adhere to social distancing and other covid-19 regulations.
First rider off was Kinga Ingram in the junior category and although relatively new to the time trial discipline, the GB Junior Academy rider produced a solid performance to finish 5th.
Katie Toft, a former world champion in the C1 para-cycling category, pitched herself against the able-bodied riders and produced an outstanding average speed that exceeded 20mph. With the 2021 Para-cycling Road Worlds scheduled to take place on an undulating course in Portugal, this performance provided a very promising start to Katie’s build up to her attempt to regain her world title.
Lucy Gadd raced her first event at Thruxton just 12 months ago and produced an outstanding ride this year to knock 80 seconds off that time to take victory in the under 23 category. It was all the more impressive given she’d only started to focus on the TT event at the end of March when lockdown started.
Tokyo hopeful and defending tandem pursuit Paralympic Champion, Corrine Hall, was racing her first event on a solo bike in two years, but had been producing some impressive training rides and online race results throughout lockdown, so was eager to test herself in her first outdoor event of 2020. Finishing 8th overall and less than 30s shy of a podium spot, was a superb indication of the form she will now take in to the winter and ahead of what everyone hopes will be a successful 2021.
Team captain, Dame Sarah Storey, won the event at Thruxton in the first two years of it’s inception and was the course record holder until 2016. Having come out of lockdown to some impressive results at local time trials, it was great to see her back at a national level competition and her continued improvement was sustained as she knocked 24 seconds off her previous best from 2019 to place 5th overall and first in the Vets category.
Meg Dickerson led the way for the SKODA DSI Cycling Academy with 4th place in the women’s event, just a few seconds shy of the podium place she achieved in 2019. Rebecca Richards and Morgan Newberry both produced solid performances racing their road bikes and everyone left the event with the buzz and excitement of being able to attend an event, having had many months of just virtual interaction as a team.
With the road season all but over, bar a couple of hill climbs, the attention of the team now turns to the winter disciplines of cyclocross, track and online racing. The World Championships for e-racing is scheduled for December 8-9th and the team has nominated riders for selection to the GB cycling team for this event. We hope to bring you more news on this as well as the new riders on the roster for 2021 in the coming weeks.