25 victories and counting!
Sunday 6th September 2015, not only marked 3 years since Dame Sarah Storey won her 4th Gold medal at the London Paralympics, but it was also the date she clocked up the 25th race victory of 2015 for the Pearl Izumi – Sports Tours International team.
Riding in the Trevor Yeoman Memorial Open Hill Climb up the iconic Long Hill out of Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire, Dame Sarah powered her way to victory in the women’s race whilst taking several men’s scalps in the process.
“This was my first open Hill Climb,” Dame Sarah commented after the race, “I train on this hill quite frequently and have done efforts on my Time Trial bike up the climb, but never put a number on my back and chased the riders in front of me.”
Conditions were cool and breezy for the 66 riders who took the start but Storey, riding the same Dean RS Time Trial bike that helped her secure her World Time Trial Gold Medal 5 weeks ago, was straight into her rhythm and catching riders inside the first 3km. By the top, her time of 14 minutes and 24 seconds was an unconfirmed course record and placed her first woman by over 70 seconds and 12th in the men’s event.
The Pearl Izumi – Sports Tours International team have enjoyed an incredible second season with every rider in the team hitting the podium at least once during the year and everyone also having the chance to experience UCI Stage Racing too. Winning the team prize at the Matrix Fitness GP at the Tour Series, further cemented the team’s dominance in the UK racing scene, despite a less than ideal start to the series with the team only placing 6th on the rankings after the crash marred first round in Redditch.
“The team have shown real strength of character this year,” said Barney Storey, team manager and DS for the team. “This is only our second year of racing under the Podium Ambition set up, but already we are seen as a main stay of the UK peloton and getting recognition from across the world.”
“Our attacking style is definitely one of the biggest strengths we have and the applications we receive to the team are all from riders who want to work in an aggressive team with a strong professional work ethic.”
The team have been backed by several major brands and this has been a key part of their success, including international success, with Dame Sarah Storey, Joanna Rowsell Shand, Katie Archibald, Ciara Horne and Lauren Creamer all competing internationally for GB and Ireland between them.
“This year we have seen the inclusion of Volvo Car UK to our sponsor line up,” said Marty “MacDonald” McCrossan, DS with the team. “These are by far the best and most comfortable team cars I have had the pleasure of driving in convey and as a DS you spend a lot of time sat in the driving seat with stage transfers and following the race!”
CNP Cycling, Madison and Schwalbe have completed the line up of sponsors with cycling product to the team, whilst Sports Tours International and Club La Santa support the team with training camps and support for entry and accommodation costs. Bikehaus have been the team service course.