How did you get into cycling?
I got into cycling by accident after struggling with ear infections while I was a swimmer. I used the bike as a way to stay fit when I wasn’t allowed in the water and I suppose you could say it got a bit out of hand!
When did you realise you wanted to go Pro on the bike?
After Beijing I realised that I really wasn’t that far behind some of the times from the Olympic Games and so I thought it would be good to see how far I could take my cycling in the able-bodied world. I had some success almost immediately by winning the 2008 National title for the Individual Pursuit and then after a good season on the road in 2009 and winning four golds at the World Champs I signed with Horizon Fitness and did my first pro races last year.
What was your most memorable moment with Horizon last season?
Gosh, that is a hard one! Horizon won four stages out of four in the Bedford 2 Day International Stage Race, and we placed most of our riders in the top 10 of the overall, including Dani King and I in first and second place, so that was a great team weekend. Then winning the team pursuit title at the end of the season was also a highlight. In terms of memories from grovelling and getting my head kicked in, then you can’t beat stage one of the Tour of Limousin where I got stuck behind a crash and had to chase for two hours on my own to get back to the peloton!
What are your hopes for the 2011 season?
I am aiming to defend my World titles on the track and road and am also looking forward to making more progress in the pro peloton. I’d love to improve again in the Road TT’s too, so looking to try and medal at National 10.
What do you think your role is in the team? Either as a rider, or off the bike!
For certain races I will be trying to keep our sprinters out of trouble to win stages, but in others I will be trying to get away and will be the supported rider in the team. I am looking forward to being able to cope better with the European races than I did last year!!
What’s been your best result in your career? Which are you proudest of?
Gosh that is another hard one! I am really lucky to have had lots of highlights so it’s difficult to choose between the World and Paralympic titles.
If you could win any race in the calendar, which would it be?
The World Championships Road Race or Road Time Trial
What are your ambitions off the bike?
My husband and I, Barney Storey, have our own business, Team Storey Sport Ltd and we are a company that works to motivate people in a variety of walks of life. I am looking forward to working my clients in both the business and sporting world to help them achieve success too.
If you weren’t a cyclist, what would you be doing?
I have no idea! Probably a PE teacher or TV presenter.
What’s your favourite training routine?
Hilly, hilly, hilly!
What’s your favourite bit of cycling kit/stuff/equipment?
I love my World Champions kit! I have matching rainbow stripes on my Prendas gloves and overshoes as well, so when it’s a bright sunny day I like to don the bright white kit!
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?
Red wine – it’s quite good for you actually!
What inspires you – on or off the bike?
I love working hard and the satisfaction you can get from putting in the hard work and sitting back and enjoying the glow of a hard day’s training, or making the difference to another person’s motivation. I also think life is too short not to be enjoying what you do, and so I try to make sure that even in the most painful training sessions or boring conferences I feel lucky to be doing something I thoroughly love.
What’s been the most stupid/embarrassing thing that’s happened to you on the bike?
When I first started I forgot to unclip at the traffic lights and fell onto the pavement!
How would your best friends/family describe you?
A motor bike – if they are in cycling!
Hyperactive and always busy (family and none cycling friends)
If you could be on tv/in a film, what programme/film would you be in?
A Bond Movie!
Do you support any charities – and if so, which, and why?
Barney and I are both patrons for the Children’s Adventure Farm Trust, which is a Cheshire based charity that provides holidays for disabled, disadvantaged, abused and terminally ill children. The work they do is fantastic and we feel privileged to be able to help out.
I am also a patron of Boot Out Breast Cancer and together with fellow patron Alan Shearer I work to try and raise awareness for the need to diagnose the disease early. My Mum had breast cancer and it is thanks to early diagnosis that she made a full recovery. The charity raises money to buy diagnostic equipment for hospitals.
I am also patron of the Salford Foundation Trust and work alongside musician Peter Hook to try and provide opportunities for young people in Salford to follow their sporting/musical/artistic dreams regardless of their family circumstances. Local businesses provide financial support and young people can apply for small grants. It’s a similar system of grant funding that helped my in my early years of sport, so I think it’s important to pass that privilege on.
I am also patron for Macclesfield Seals swimming club, a disabled swimming club that is based locally to my home. I have been their patron for over 10 years and enjoy working with them as they support people with all kinds of disabilities to learn to swim.
My final patronage is with a Girls School in Shropshire which has a strong work ethic that they aim to pass on to their girls as they move into work and adulthood.
If people reading this are thinking that they love cycling, and want to start competing, what advice would you give them about where to start?
Women’s racing is going from strength to strength in the UK so get down to a local circuit race of TT and see where the world of racing takes you. All clubs welcome women to start racing as it’s such a developing side of the sport.
Is it true you have a bit of a thing for shoes?
It is true I love shoes and handbags that match the shoes. Barney is working on a extension to our home to help accommodate everything!
And a doll in your image?
We have a Little Sarah Doll which was made by my Mum and sister in 2007. I was a bridesmaid for all of my best friends and when the first got married I missed her hen do because I was in Canada for racing. I was so gutted not to be there, so the Doll was made and taken to the hen do as my understudy!