Sarah Storey was competing in the C5 women’s road race with 5 laps of the tough circuit to complete. After the surprise 2nd place the Polish rider Anna Harkowska achieved in the time trial, Storey knew almost certainly her biggest challenge would come from the Pole and the race did not disappoint!
As the riders pulled away from the start on a glorious day in Baie-Comeau, Harkowska attacked immediately, with all the riders in the group staying together until the first major climb. Once upon the main climb Storey then upped the pace to slim down the front group, with only Harkowska and the two Americans Neimanas and Crowley able to stay with Storey. The climb saw Storey pile on pressure each lap, until she only had Harkowska for company.
Once the final lap had started Sarah decided to attack Harkowska again on the main climb, but the Polish rider managed, some how to stay with her after the fierce attacks. Once heading towards the finish, Sarah then attacked again in the final few kilometres, but was bought back by Harkowska. Then with 500metres to go launched her sprint, gapping the Polish rider straight away and as she rode down the finishing straight there was a gap between the 2 riders for the first time in the race. Storey crossed the line to become World Road Champion!
Sarah crosses the line, World Champion!
This was a truly fantastic race to watch and certainly gave the large lively crowd great entertainment in the town of Baie-Comeau. The finish area had a huge number of spectators, which was great to see at a Para-cycling event. Storey adds this Road Race Gold to the Time trial Gold to become double World Champion!
Sarah said after the race:
“That was a great race to ride, as riders were attacking from the start, making it an aggressive race. At the start Anna (Harkowska) attacked and that set the tone for the race with action throughout. With it being a hard race it played into my hands, as I knew I had the perfect preparation for the event, racing some pretty hard races with my team Horizon Fitness this year. As we went over the main climb each lap, I tried to push the pace and open some gaps between riders. Which went down to 4 riders to start with, then I distanced the 2 riders from USA, going into the last lap, I was determined to try and put some time between myself and Anna. She hung on to my back wheel just! and then I attacked with 3 kilometres to go, but thought it was a bit early and eased back, then sprinted away from her at 500metres to go. Once I got in the finish straight I new the World Title was mine! It’s brilliant to retain the title I won last year and this now brings my tally to 14 World titles in Swimming and cycling and number 8 in cycling!”
1. Sarah STOREY (GBR)
2. Anna HARKOWSKA (POL)
3. Kelly CROWLEY (USA)
Picture credits: Barney Storey