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Comeback Season Complete!

by Sarah Storey
Sarah Storey
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on Oct 05 in General Blog
So this time 12 months ago I had been given the all clear to resume training after a 12 week period of rehab following the birth of my daughter by Emergency C Section. It's funny to look back over the past 12 months and see all my anxieties about returning to racing gradually melt into what has turned into another superb year!

2014 not only saw my comeback trail but also the start of my own cycling team which I jointly manage with my husband Barney. The Pearl Izumi Sports Tours International team are a UK domestic team and we set it up to ride for the cause of a charity to which I am patron, Boot Out Breast Cancer. Owning my own team obviously requires a lot of behind the scenes work but also the freedom to work with my own preferred bike brands and create a better training and competition schedule.

Women's cycling is becoming one of the fastest growing areas of our sport and is certainly grabbing more headlines than it used to 2 or 3 years ago. As a rider who has been fortunate to grow alongside the growth of the sport I feel privileged to have been an athlete in this era. Our own cycling team is now adding to this growth and we see ourselves as a blueprint for what we hope will inspire others within our sport.

Apart from starting small and doing the fundamentals right (professional approach if not professional by registration), our goal has always been to ensure we worked across the range of Road and Track Cycling disciplines that all complement each other in some way. Our goal is to eventually create a professional team in addition to the UK based team, but to do that a greater sponsorship package is required. Initially we aim to create the best amateur team we can and our results this year certainly point towards this working out.

The team has scored 24 race victories to date and I take personal pride in being a part of almost all of those. My own tally of race victories this year reached 15 (including 4 world titles, 2 track and 2 road) last weekend when I won the Points Race at the British National Track Championships and even though I write it down again it's still a result that is difficult to sink in!

 pointsrace2014

The season itself has been an exciting one from a comeback point of view because I have seen some incredible gains in terms of power profile on the bike. Pregnancy and post pregnancy physiology relies mainly on anecdotal evidence that women feel stronger, train harder and have more stamina but then there is the occasional elite athlete that records an incredible performance in the first couple of years after having a baby.

I certainly noticed the increased stamina and my powers of recovery are also better than ever too. This obviously wasn't the reason I got pregnant but it's been a nice surprise to see my body bounce back! Louisa now travels everywhere with us and seeing her smiling face after a race makes the victory even better and the bad races completely insignificant. Perspective definitely changes after a baby and it would be interesting to know if it changes more for female athletes than male.

For now though I am enjoying being a full time Mum for a couple of weeks. No training just relaxing and trying to get the past 15 months to sink in a bit more. Whether it's becoming a mum or picking up where I left off with the bike racing, I feel very fortunate and glad that all the hard work has paid off.

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