Sarah Storey has been dropped from Great Britain’s women’s team pursuit programme, despite helping the team to win a gold medal at the UCI World Cup round in Colombia on Friday.
Storey announced via her personal blog on Tuesday evening that British team selectors had informed her that she will not continue as a candidate for the team pursuit line-up. The move was confirmed by British Cycling on Wednesday morning in a statement.
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Storey will therefore not take part in any further rounds of the Track World Cup, including the London round in Feburary, or be part of Britain’s team pursuit line-up at the Olympic Games in 2012.
“I collected my bags in Manchester and before heading home was told my performance in Cali was not as good as they [the selectors] were looking for and so this is the end of the journey for me with the Great Britain team pursuit team,” said Storey.
“I have always said that London 2012 is about riding as many events as I am good enough for and so now it is important for me to concentrate on the other events I have at the Games.”
Storey is hoping to defend the Paralympic titles that she won in the 2008 Games in Beijing in the time trial and individual pursuit, but the decision has ended her chance of taking both Paralympic and Olympic titles. It seems a hard blow after Storey has assisted Britain’s Olympic qualification for the women’s team pursuit.
Storey was part of Britain’s gold-medal winning team pursuit trio at the second round of the UCI 2011-12 Track World Cup in Cali, Colombia, on Friday. She rode alongside Wendy Houvenaghel and Laura Trott to overhaul the on-form New Zealand trio.
New Zealand had posted the fastest time in qualifying, but a few changes to Britain’s set-up before the final saw them take seconds off their qualifying time and take the top step of the podium.
In Feburary 2011, Storey rode as part of Britain’s team pursuit squad at the Manchester round of the 2010-11 World Cup. Storey, Houvenaghel and Joanna Rowsell posted the second fastest time ever recorded in the women’s team pursuit, narrowly missing out on beating the USA’s record.
Storey was part of the Horizon Fitness team that won the British national women’s team pursuit title this year.
British Cycling confirmed on Wednesday that Houvenaghel, Trott, Rowsell and Dani King will continue to train towards competing in the women’s team pursuit at the Olympic Games next year.
Former candidate Lizzie Armitstead has elected to concentrate on the women’s road race rather than track, and 2008 Olympic individual pursuit champion Rebecca Romero has withdrawn from the British Olympic programme due to injury.
British Cycling also announced on Wednesday that Trott will take a break from track racing until the London round of the World Cup in February 2012.