Sarah Storey’s blog

 

A brief rest from training after the success of the Track Worlds saw me busy as a labourer for my builder extraordinaire husband, who has been masterminding the extension on our home and has needed someone with the patience required to cut and hold plasterboard while he works out where to attach it to the studwork and batons!  I also spent some time in London with Links of London working on some media related promotion of the latest items to hit their London 2012 range and a photo shoot for the Guardian alongside team mate Jon-Allan Butterworth, this should appear in May. There was also a quick trip to Edinburgh to see Scottish Widows and a chance to speak at an Intermediary Sales conference. It was fun to do so many different things in a short space of time, but for the past couple of weeks it has been all about getting back into training and hitting the roads for a block of long miles.

 Sarah storey mallorca

 

At present we are out in Mallorca and will be until the end of March, but before we went there was time to fit in a weekend away with my new team, For Viored. With a team of 11 British riders and a real strength in the squad, it is going to be an exciting road season for us and plans are afoot for stage races in Korea, South Africa, France and Czech Republic, as well as the usual smattering of UK races and for me the bread and butter work in the Time Trials.

 

We headed for the course being used for this summer’s National Road Race Championships and after everyone had descended on our amazing digs for the weekend, a quick [?] game of Monopoly was followed by an introduction to the nutrition products the team will be using from CNP Professional. As one of CNP’s brand ambassadors I was excited to introduce the team to the amazing array of products available, which all work to provide the best diet needed for being everything from an elite performer, right the way through to someone who enjoys being active and wants to look after their body.

 

The next morning we were out of the door early and heading straight for the very undulating course we will ride seven laps of for the National Championships. It’s a tough circuit, but in such a beautiful part of the country and despite it being early March, we were blessed with the weather and able to shed the layers of our wonderfully warm Rapha clothing. As we wound our way through the lanes, it was clear everyone had been training hard through the winter and the tough climbs didn’t faze anyone as we pushed on.

 

Sarah Storey on the road

 

With a prior engagement with Boot Out Breast Cancer the same evening, I headed off with even more motivation that my run in to London 2012 couldn’t be with a better group of riders and I was able to head off knowing that our first race wasn’t too far away.

 

I am patron of Boot Out Breast Cancer, along with former Footballer, Alan Shearer and it was our honour to appear at the Ball and lend our support to the amazing work of the charity which was set up in 2010. With over £50,000 raised on a night of amazing fun and great entertainment, I am sure that the total will rise as the pledge money continues to come in and the word spreads of the valuable resources the money provides. With every penny raised going into the purchase of vital diagnostic equipment for breast cancer, the volunteers of the charity need to be applauded for their tireless work in keeping the funds coming in.

 

Last week also saw me appear at Deloitte House on the edge of Olympic Park, for an evening to celebrate International Women’s Day. I was included in an illustrious panel to discuss the benefits of women’s sport, the way in which we can inspire more women and promote to them the benefits of sport and how London 2012 and the media coverage of the Games will ensure more women feel they are able to participate at any level. It was a very interesting evening, with some great questions at the end of it and everyone had some interesting points to make. The role and importance of the National Governing bodies for sport came up time and again, as the panel and audience felt these organisations had the biggest impact and power on the promotion of sport to women and for women.

 

The subject of equality in events and distances competed over came up, as well as the difference in media coverage. We discussed how newspapers and television news stories are seemingly dominated by the men’s sports of football, cricket and rugby. However the point regarding celebrity and whether every news report really is about sport, or whether there is a mistake in thinking men get more coverage because they have more written about their private lives and other none sporting subjects, means that perhaps the balance is not as bad as is often reported. Perhaps it is more to do with the sort of news that we are forced into hearing about and maybe the sports sections would do well to balance this out with results and the associated and necessary commentary, rather than trying to dig up some dirt.

 

Of the women who are not attracted to sport, the reasons or excuses that come up the most seem to be along the lines of, “it’s not a feminine thing to do”, “I don’t want muscles” or “I couldn’t possibly be as good as the women you see on TV.” These reasons seem to indicate we need more encouragement for women at grass roots, some less intimidating activities and perhaps things they can do with their families too. Obviously I am biased, but I was delighted to point out that cycling has the sort of inclusive nature we were discussing. From Time Trials attended by the whole family, to sportives traversing the British countryside, we are blessed with a range of events that welcome riders at all levels.

 

For now though, I am concentrating on the elite end of the spectrum and the final few weeks of pure training before the racing is added in to the programme.

 

Out here in Mallorca we have two bases for the duration of the camp and in this first week are based in Alcudia, before we transfer across to Santa Maria for the final 10 days of the trip. With clear blue skies and 20 degrees, it has been perfect for blasting over the mountains and my 4-5 hours a day remit has felt far shorter.

 

I’ll check in again after the camp with news of how my time with the Blue Peter camera crew went. Now where is the sticky back plastic!

 

 

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