Cycling: Dame Sarah Storey says new Derby Arena track is ‘superb’

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By Colston Crawford

Dame Sarah Storey

Dame Sarah Storey on the Derby Arena track.

CYCLING star Dame Sarah Storey has labelled the Derby Arena track “superb” after a training session for her forthcoming world record attempt.

Storey, jointly the most decorated Paralympian in history, with 11 gold medals, and a three-times British champion on the track, taking on able-bodied rivals, will attempt cycling’s fabled hour record at the end of the month.

For the hour record, a competitor attempts to clock up as many kilometres as possible in 60 minutes.

There have been several attempts on the men’s record recently but the women’s record – which was set at 46.065km in 2003 by Dutch rider Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel – is less often attempted.

Storey recently revealed the black Ridley Arena bike she will use for her record attempt and put it through its paces in a long session at Derby yesterday.

“I’m here for my final session on the Derby velodrome before we head to London next week,” she said.

“I’ve only got another four sessions after this before my actual record attempt.

“So I was here to do a long effort, the longest that I’ll do before the full hour, and it went pretty well.

“It’s superb to ride on the track. An indoor 250m is the ball park for all tracks, so it’s the most familiar environment to ride in and with Derby being the fifth indoor 250 track in the country, it is just as good as them all.

“A track like this is hugely important. Having an indoor facility for cycling really will help.

“Obviously, for young people, they don’t have to battle with the roads while they get their confidence up.

“It’s a superb venue to focus on. You’ll be able to host fantastic events here and people will be able to use it as a community focal point for cycling and other sports as well.”

It is unlikely to be the last Derby will see of Storey, especially once the Derby Arena is properly open.

“Without a doubt I’ll be back to Derby,” she added.

“I know that the para-cycling team have training camps around the UK for various different events.

“For example, we prepared in Newport for the Paralympics in London. We often use other velodromes for our team, Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International, so I’m sure this won’t be the last time I come to Derby.”


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