Dame Sarah Storey is Great Britain’s most decorated female Paralympian, having won 11 gold, eight silver and three bronze medals in six Paralympic Games. In London 2012, Storey topped the medal table for the British team with four gold medals.
Following the London Games, Storey gave birth to her first child. In the first 15 months after giving birth, Storey won a stage at the Tour de Bretagne, four Para-Cycling World titles, a bronze in the National Time Trial Championships and the able-bodied National Points Race title. Storey’s daughter Louisa is 22 months old.
Storey, of Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team, is the current Lexus Queen of the Mountain (QOM) leader after stage 1 of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race.
When was the decision made to attack the field and break away?
It was literally a split second. On this decent I had a lot more momentum and the bunch slid up to the left and I am thinking I am not breaking I am going. I knew the climb because we did it on the training ride. It was a climb that suits me. A Canadian rider came with me but dropped back after she got the sprint points. I decided to take a chance to see what the day had in store. Later I was joined by another Canadian rider. I took the second QOM points. I am on an amateur UK team so it’s a matter of taking the opportunities and seeing what was going on the road. I felt really good. I race on instincts a lot and breakaways are my thing. I have always enjoyed that side of racing and pushing my body. I was watching the time go out and get pulled back in only to go back out again. I did have a few bad patches where I called in the car for a Coke It was simply a good opportunity not to be missed. I came here on holiday in 2006 and have always wanted to do a race here. I was just blown away not only by the scenery but by the amazing roads. I am very delighted to be here.
Where does winning the QOM jersey rank in your career?
This is a big deal for me. I have never raced in a race of this magnitude. I love taking the opportunities in the road race.
Any more racing outside of the UK?
We are going to race Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen in Germany in July. That race will be my final preparation for the Para Cycling World Wheels which is in Switzerland. We kind of target special races and TTs that will help me towards those goals. I am hoping to come back here and ride in the World Championships in the US in September. That would be a dream come true.
How is training while being a mom of a toddler?
It’s great! It just puts everything into perspective. Good race or bad race, Louisa is always happy to see me and wants me to play. I am a sure we will be in the swimming pool a little later today. I have been known to do races where I am on my knees working for my teammates and then go on a hike in the afternoon to keep my daughter busy. It is a completely different lifestyle. It is brilliant to have her travel with me. I think it’s really great and I hope other women see it. For women who think that they have to stop training and racing to have a baby, if you have the right support it is possible to do both, be a mom and athlete.