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by Shane Stokes
March 4, 2015
She made an extremely strong impression in going within 563 metres of equalling the long-standing hour record of Leontien Van Moorsel, but British Paralympian Sarah Storey has ruled out another tilt at the mark.
Storey, who covered 45.502 kilometres in Lee Valley VeloPark in London on Saturday, said that once was enough for her, although she did leave a small possibility open after 2016.
“It’s a once in a lifetime,” she said, speaking to Press Association. “I won’t be considering doing it any time soon. If I ever did it again it would be well after Rio.”
She said that she was extremely fatigued after her effort and expressed admiration for another Briton who took the men’s record in the 1990s after initially failing.
“I have absolutely no idea how Graeme Obree did it again the following day, when he was unsuccessful in his attempt and then successful the day after,” she said. “It’s an incredibly drawn-out, painful process. I hoped I had enough in me to go over 46km but whatever I was going to do was going to be the absolute best I had.
“I feel I couldn’t have given any more and so I can’t be too hard on myself. I was hard enough on myself just to finish on Saturday.”
Storey was initially up on schedule during her effort but then slipped further back and lost ground compared to the pace of Van Moorsel’s pace, who broke the record in 2003.
The latter had an advantage over Storey in that she rode at altitude, benefitting from lower air pressure and thus less aerodynamic resistance.
However the quality of Storey’s effort is reflected in the fact that she went 400 metres further than the previous second best, the 45.094 kilometres clocked by Jeannie Longo in December 2000.
Her ride on Sunday saw her break the British record and also those of the C5 Paralympic and masters’ categories.
Storey was born without a functioning left hand, and has taken 11 Paralympic gold medals.